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Vocations to Serve the Mission of Christ

We all have a vocation to love.

Vocation: Response to a Call by God and a Call by the Church
A fundamental understanding within Catholicism is that every person who has been baptized into Christ, has a vocation to share in his priesthood in our own unique way. The word "vocation" does not only apply to the ordained priesthood. A vocation is a calling from God to share in his life and to share his life in us, for the salvation of humanity and the improvement of the human condition. All life is sacred. All humans have dignity because God created us and them and loves all he created with unconditional love, for God is love.

Holy Orders: bishop, presbyter, deacon. Priests may belong to a diocese making them "diocesan priests" which can also be called "secular priests."  Priests can also be "religious order priests" if they belong to religious orders such as Apostles of Jesus, Franciscans, Dominicans, Jesuits, Augustinians, Norbertines, Vincentians, Spiritans, etcetera. 

Gabriel is studying for the Diocese of Phoenix in his first year of Philosphy.  He is the son of Andy and Faye Sabado who are active parishioners in our parish. Gabriel was also active in our youth ministry program before he went away to seminary.  

We pray for God's abundant blessings on Gabriel and all our seminarians. We pray that the Holy Spirit inspire him with wisdom and zeal to serve the Lord. Discernment is a process that takes time and experience for reflection, prayer and many conversations with the seminary formation team and spiritual directors. We hope one day that Gabriel will be a good and holy priest to serve the needs of our diocese. We thank the clergy and staff of St. John Vianney Seminary for their good work in the vineyard of the Lord.

Gabriel Sabado

Philosophy Student
St John Vianney Seminary
Denver, Colorado

Christian Marriage: husband, wife and their children or other family members

Consecrated Religious: religious order priests, religious order brothers and religious order sisters. We have many consecrated religious women and men in our Diocese of Phoenix.

Single Men and Women who do not belong to religious orders. They may belong to associations of the lay faithful for make private vows or make themselves available as missionaries or be involved in temporary assignments as part of a volunteer corp. They may be engaged in parish or diocesan ministries or community service.

How to Discern a Vocation

Discernment is a process that involves sufficient time during which the light of one's vocation becomes clear. This takes place through the inner experience of a call which is then affirmed or denied through the call of the Church.  A person may be on fire to serve the Lord, but that fire must be recognized by the members and leaders of the Church.  It works like this: a young man can be full of passion and love for a young woman, but if she does not have the same experience in loving the young man, we can say that the young does not have a vocation to marry this particular woman. It must be a reciprocal, mutual, relationship. 

It is important for men or women who believe they might have a vocation, to get involved in the life of the Church where the experiences of prayer and service can be recognized in the parish environment by other lay persons and by priests, deacons and religious.  It is also important to have a regular spiritual director and/or confessor who can guide the discernment process. It is helpful to attend discernment retreats that are offered by the Office of Consecrated Religious Life or by the Office of Vocations. These mini-retreats and  small group sharing sessions help clarify self-knowledge and areas of growth or stagnation.

After a period of discernment, the young person, with the guidance of his or her confessor, spiritual director and or pastor might be ready to take the next step to begin a serious conversation with the diocesan vocation director or vocations director of a relgious community.
Here are some Tools for Discernment from the US Bishops, USCCB

 

Prayer for Holy Vocations
Heavenly
Father, your people are longing to experience your life-giving word. Send laborers into your harvest – men and women on fire with your love; Dedicated single people – who incarnate your presence in their daily lives, whose availability enables them to respond to a diversity of needs. Married couples – whose relationships serve as a sign of your fidelity to your people, whose love overflows to their children and neighbors. Ordained bishops, priests and deacons – who gather the prayers and longing of your people, who serve as a channel of your presence through the Sacraments. Religious sisters, brothers, and priests – whose life in community foreshadows our eternal unity with the angels and saints, in Christ, whose service brings your life to the world. May each of us respond with courage and generosity to our particular vocations, trusting in your abundance to answer all our needs.  Amen.

Prayer of St. Clare of Assisi
Place your mind before the mirror of eternity.
Place your soul in the brilliance of glory!
Place your heart in the figure of divine substance!
And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation.
Most high, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart,
and give me, Lord:  a correct faith, a certain hope, a perfect charity, sense and knowledge,
so that I may carry out your holy and true desires.  Amen.

More Prayers for Vocations from the USCCB

Adopt-a-Priest

We all need prayer and it is especially important to pray for our priests. They have a beautiful ministry in a complex world. They pray for their communities and are under attack by secularism, atheism and the devil and can grow week under the burden of their humanity and the ordinary tempations of life.  Please adopt a priest and pray for him often.  Our diocese vocation office has an active program to encourage prayer for priests. Learn more here:  Adopt-a-Priest

Seven Sisters Apostolate

National Conference of Diocesan Vocations Directors Resources

Serra International

The USA Council of Serra International

Saint Serra Club of the West Valley (Phoenix Area)

Knights of Columbus Vocation Promotion Materials

USCCB Vocations Page of Resources from around the USA

USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations

 

 
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