God calls each of us to Himself in a unique and personal way. He wants each of us to come to Him with all we are and all we have — and for every one of us, who we are and what we have is unique. Likewise, He calls each of us to serve Him and His Church in a way that is unique to who we are and why He has created us. The Church exists to draw all men to Christ and each of us plays a particular role in that mission — a role placed upon our lives according to God’s call.
It’s no secret that answering God’s call and living a life of discipleship accordingly is not easy. We must pray daily to continue His work, to remain steadfast in our faith, and to remain faithful to God’s calling. In a particular way, this is true for our priests and religious. They play vital roles in the life of the Church, and their roles come with their own unique challenges. To live the lives to which they have been called, they need to pray. We need to pray for them.
“Prayer is powerful,” says Julie Luger, who coordinates our parish Vocations Committee along with her husband, Mike. “Individuals called to religious vocations constantly need our prayers to sustain them.”
Julie speaks these words from personal experience. She and Mike joined the Vocations Committee over six years ago after their son, Fr. Gregory Luger, entered the seminary. It was then that the Lugers recognized just how important prayers are for our priests and religious. And Julie says that serving on the committee has added to their realization.
“Serving on the committee has raised our awareness,” she says. “These men and women need our prayer.”
Julie and Mike serve alongside Ascension parishioners Derek Miller, and Troy and Deb Schon (whose son is seminarian Joe Schon) — Julie says she is grateful to be able to do so.
“The knowledge that our work on the committee raises awareness about the Church’s need for vocations and our need to pray for them is such a blessing,” she says.
The committee meets every few months to pray together and discuss ways that they can make more people aware of the need for vocations. In addition, Mike arranges a monthly calendar with the name of a seminarian or priest, deacon, or other religious on each day. The calendar is distributed each month in the parish bulletin to parishioners and they are asked to offer prayers for those individuals on the specified day.
It is a simple ministry, but one that Julie has found both spiritually deepening for herself as well as invaluable to the religious vocations in our midst. The Church needs vocations. And those with vocations need our prayers. They need our prayers to discern the Holy Spirit’s call, and they need our prayers once they have discerned and answered the call as religious life is not for the faint of heart.
“There is always room for more members,” Julie says. “We would love to have you join us.”
If you are interested in joining the Vocations Committee, please consider doing so. Contact Julie Lugar at 701-222-0382 or the parish office at 701-223-3606 for more information.