Do you ever feel like someone you know or have met would make a good priest, sister, brother or deacon? If you’ve never spoken to them about it, the “Called By Name” program is your chance to lovingly nudge them to explore God’s calling. “Called by Name” is designed to promote input which can go a long way toward helping the Vocations Office identify men and women who may have a calling to these vocations. The Program has been recommended by the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Vocations in its document, “A Future Full of Hope: A National Strategy for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life for the Diocese and Dioceses of the United States.”
At the core of “Called by Name” is the prayerful discernment by clergy, parish and school leaders, family members, and folks in the pews as to who among those in their midst seem like they are called by God to serve Him as priests and consecrated persons. The discernment of any vocation is not exclusive, but ought to involve the church community as well. It is everyone’s business to help each other know and live out their vocation. Our hope is to help one another deepen our relationship with God so that someday we can be with Him and all the saints in Heaven.
On Called by Name Sunday, February 16, clergy at Masses will be talking about vocation discernment and will ask parishioners to observe and pray about who in their parish community might have a calling from God to be a priest or sister. A form is included in the bulletin inserts which parishioners can complete. The following Sunday, February 23, these forms will be collected and the recommendations forwarded to the Vocations Office. Parishes should submit their spreadsheets to the Vocation Office by February 28th.
What happens next is all in God’s time, not ours, as He calls His laborers. Some will answer, some will defer, others will decline. We remind one and all that a nudge from a friend or family member can help a person hear God’s whisper within the noise of life; we also hope that our parish families will embrace the possibility that their child or loved one may have a religious vocation, and will remain open to God’s Love as they prayerfully discern.
Thank you for your help in discerning with the Church!