The first vocation, or call, that we receive is the call to follow Christ as His disciples, and to be baptized. For many Catholics, there is a second call—either to marriage or to Holy Orders. Some, such as permanent deacons, are called to both marriage and Holy Orders. We all begin life as single, so those who choose the single life do not receive a second call.
This is National Vocation Awareness Week. During this week, we reflect on the special vocations, and we pray for vocations to the priesthood, the religious life, and the permanent diaconate.
Most people have heard that marriage is a vocation, but not many have thought about what that means. By calling marriage a vocation, the Church is saying that marriage is not just something that two people decide to do, but that it is a calling from God. There is a need, then, for discernment, as the couple ask God if marriage to this other person is His plan for them.
Usually when we think of vocations, we are thinking of those who are called to the priesthood or to the religious life. Each of these vocations has a built-in period of discernment. For those exploring the religious life, there is the novitiate and other stages that they must go through. Those considering the priesthood have a number of years of seminary.
It is no surprise to anyone that the Church in the USA is facing a severe shortage of priests and religious. I think most of you are aware of the way in which parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are being yoked together, with one pastor sometimes caring for four or five parishes. Some of the parishes in the archdiocese will ultimately be closed, and the primary reason for this is a shortage of priests to serve the parishes.
Thankfully, the Diocese of Covington is not yet in as critical a situation as is Cincinnati. But things are getting very tight here as well. Last week the diocese held the Seminary Ball, and there are only six seminarians in training for the diocese at this point.
Please pray for vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life. Pray for your sons and daughters, your grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. Encourage them to consider priesthood or the religious life.
If you believe you may be called to serve the Church in one of these vocations, please give me a call. I would like to meet with you and to try to help you begin the process of discernment.
—Fr. Mike Comer
Thank you to all who contributed to the Collection for the Seminarian Education Fund. Our parish family generously donated $3,042. These gifts will provide funds for tuition, room and board, books, healthcare and retreats for our seminarians. Your investment in our seminarians is a prayerful commitment to your Church and to your brothers and sisters in Christ. If you have not made your gift, please drop your envelope into the offertory basket today or next weekend. Please continue to pray for our seminarians, for members of our clergy, and for vocations to the priesthood.