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Let's Celebrate Vocations Together

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By Marc Massery (May 4, 2019)
On May 12, 2019, the Church celebrates the 56th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations to ordained ministries. This includes the priesthood and the diaconate, as well as vocations to the religious life.

As Pope Francis said in his message commemorating this day, "[I]t is not always easy to discern our vocation. ... There needs to be a renewed commitment on the part of the whole Church — priests, religious, pastoral workers and educators — to provide young people in particular with opportunities for listening and discernment."

How do we members of the Thirteenth of the Month Club respond to Pope Francis' call to renew our commitment to help foster vocations?

We can start by praying for the priests and religious who already minister to us. We need to continually pray for the ordained and consecrated because following a vocation is not a one time "yes." It takes a continual effort to say "yes" to the Lord and stay true to one's vows. Of course, we also need to pray regularly that men and women, especially those in our communities, will be open to God's call to the priesthood or religious life to begin with. We should also pray that those already in formation will persevere. The more we lift each other up in prayer, the more faithfully we all can follow God's call.

In addition to praying for increased vocations, we can also help foster vocations by talking to others, especially the youth, about the possibility that God may be calling them to the priesthood or the religious life. Unfortunately, many families remain close-minded to the possibility that their loved one may have such a vocation, and so, discourage them from listening to God's call. We, therefore, must encourage each other and help each other understand that a life of chastity is not a "no" to the married life so much as a "yes" to fully living for the Kingdom of God. As Pope Francis said in his recent message regarding vocations, "The Lord's call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom; it is not a 'cage' or a burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking."

Lastly, there's one key person to whom we need to prayerfully turn to help foster vocations: the Blessed Virgin Mary. It's no coincidence that the World Day of Prayer for Vocations occurs in May, the month of Mary. In fact, Pope Francis ended his message on this day by holding up Mary as a model for all to follow, saying, "[I]n the story of this young woman, vocation was both a promise and a risk. Her mission was not easy, yet she did not allow fear to prevail. It was the 'yes' of someone prepared to be committed, someone willing to take a risk ..."

Mary modeled the perfect "yes" to the Lord. She wasn't afraid to risk her life for His sake, and as a result, all generations call her "blessed." So, we should look to Our Lady to help the men and women in our Church called to the priesthood or religious life say "yes" to Him, too. Then like Mary, they can gain the blessings he intends for them and for all the Church.

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A Sciberras - May 4, 2019

Deacon Michael is a friend of mine I pray that he will be blesse and and out Lady cover him with her Mantel as he ids ordained May theHoly Spirit continue to increase vocations to the Marians that they spread around the world especially Sydney Australia.