The US Catholic Church marks its annual national vocation awareness week (November 4-10) to highlight the importance of religious vocations today and to ask that we pray for young women and men to be open to and to answer God’s call to be sisters, brothers, and priests.
Interestingly, this weekend I’m attending the US National Religious Vocation Conference’s bi-annual convocation in Buffalo, NY – an educational conference for individuals working in vocational ministry. The conference theme is “Walk with me: Encounter, Accompaniment & Invitation.” It echoes the 2018 Synod theme on “Young People, faith development and Vocation discernment”. I’m reminded of Pope Francis’s message to young people, “To suggest to a young person today to “come and follow me” (John 1:39) requires an evangelical audacity, the conviction, that the following of Christ, also in the consecrated life, is worthwhile, and that the total gift of oneself, is worthwhile and that the total gift of oneself to the cause of the gospel, is something beautiful that can give meaning to a whole life.” Pope Francis.
I love the word ‘audacious’ because it speaks of being bold. And to answer God’s call is to be bold today. It’s part of the gift and answering the call. As women in discernment, pray for the grace to boldly answer God‘s call.
Sr. Pat Dowling