Those called to Holy Orders are appointed to feed the Church in Christ’s name with the Word and the grace of God. Priests are consecrated to preach the Gospel, shepherd the faithful in unity, and celebrate divine worship. Their most visible and important role is that of presiding at the Eucharist.
[Vatican II in Plain English: Constitution on the Church 2:11, 28]
A couple of thought-provoking facts from your pastor…
- + According to Wikipedia, a vocation is “an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which he or she is suited.” It also notes that the meanings of the term actually originated in Christianity (and before the 16th century, referred only to God’s ‘call’—from the Latin vocatio—to each individual).
- + Pope Benedict advised that “the discernment of a vocation is above all the fruit of an intimate dialogue between the Lord and his disciples.”
Here are some sources of information to help in your discernment of a vocation—to marriage, to the single life or to priesthood and religious life:
- + from the Archdiocese of N.Y.: www.NYPriest.com
- + from Catholic Christian Outreach: YouTube Video
- + from Retrouvaille (a Catholic lifeline for marriages): www.retrouvaille.org/
- + from the U.S. Bishops: www.usccb.org/
- + from Worldwide Marriage Encounter: www.wwme.org
There are hundreds of books and websites about Catholics’ vocations, including a website for each of the religious orders, from the Augustinians to the Dominicans to the Jesuits and from the Paulists to the Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius to the Xavierists.
If you are considering becoming a nun or a priest, you could also speak to one of the parish staff about his or her vocation.