Christ calls each one of us to Himself, promising us life and fulfillment through Him. He also asks each one of us to live for Him so that others will come to know the truth and the life He has for them. Yet, as we are called to this mission, the way in which He calls us to serve is unique to each individual — it is our vocation. When we prayerfully consider the vocation to which Christ calls us and answer that call accordingly, we find ourselves more deeply fulfilled and the Church is able to fulfill Christ’s mission in a truly fruitful manner.
“As the Second Vatican Council reminds us in Lumen Gentium, every Christian has the primary vocation of holiness and conforming his or her life to Jesus Christ,” Fr. Pressley says. “But God calls each of us to a specific vocation in service to the Church. God has a place prepared for each one of us in His Church, a perfect plan for happiness that we sometimes need help finding.”
Unlike with the first twelve apostles, Christ is not walking among us or calling us by name in ways that we can audibly hear Him. For us, hearing Him involves much prayer and discernment — but the calls are just as real, and the fulfillment He offers us is just as deep as it was for those first disciples. But we must always make the effort to hear His call in our hearts.
This is where our parish’s Vocation Committee comes in. They commit to pray for vocations — that all of those who are still discerning would be open to whatever vocation Christ has planned for them, and that they would offer Him their “yes” in return.
“The Vocations Committee works to build a culture of vocations and an atmosphere of prayer and support for those discerning to follow the will of God,” Fr. Pressley says.
In a particular way, the committee offers prayers for those called to a religious vocation, as hearing that call can often be particularly difficult today.
“Often in our secular world, the call to a religious vocation is hard to hear, so the committee encourages focusing on religious vocations,” Fr. Pressley says. “This focus does not diminish the beauty or importance of Holy Matrimony in any way but highlights the uphill battle of religious discernment in this secular world. Encouraging vocations is everyone’s responsibility. This group makes a special effort to pray for those considering the priesthood or religious life. Often someone may have a religious vocation but need some prompting and encouragement to pursue it.”
So they pray! Members of the Vocations Committee commit to pray regularly for those in our parish who are discerning a religious vocation. Currently, prayer is the only commitment of the members, but the committee plans to expand its activities as the ministry develops.
“The commitment is minimal right now,” he says. “But it is important. Praying for vocations is something we should all be doing. Joining the committee is a commitment of your time to that prayer.”
What’s more, Fr. Pressley encourages us to recognize the need the Church has for religious vocations and, in turn, to recognize the need for our prayers.
“The priesthood brings Jesus Christ and the Grace of God in the sacraments,” he says. “Religious orders are signs of God’s love and actions in the world. They remind us that God is greater than anything the world can offer. Contemplatives sustain the Church by their prayers, and the active orders reveal the face of Christ.”
If you think you may have a religious vocation and would like to talk to either Fr. Pressley or Fr. Quezada as you continue to discern Christ’s calling, do not hesitate. They are here, and they are eager to chat and pray! God is calling you to Himself, and your true fulfillment is found in Him. Give Him your “yes.” You won’t regret it.
If you are interested in becoming part of the Vocations Committee and committing to praying for vocations, or to speak about vocations, contact Fr. Pressley at the parish office, 719-598-3595.