Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This week, the Church in the United States celebrates Vocation Awareness week. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states, “National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.
We have an opportunity, then, to learn about these particular vocations and their vital importance in the life of the Church. For information about the diocesan priesthood here in the Diocese of Bridgeport, I invite you to look at www.bridgeportpriest.org. Information about the permanent diaconate can be found at https://www.bridgeportdiocese.org/diaconate/welcome/. For information about consecrated religious life for women, I highly recommend https://cmswr.org. I am fond of saying that my own vocation to the priesthood has been profoundly influenced and sustained by the many Sisters who pray for me and whose friendship is so important in my life. St. Ignatius of Loyola tells us that when making a discernment—a prayerful decision about a particular course of action—one must have information. This is especially true if one is discerning their vocation: it is absolutely essential to have accurate information that informs one’s prayer.
There are young men and women in our parish whom the Lord is calling to his service: of this I am certain. A vocation cannot be heard in isolation, though. It needs the voice of the community of faithful Catholics—a vocation needs your help! Explore these websites with your children, talk to them about God’s plan in their lives, and encourage them to always seek God’s will in their lives. Most of all, let us pray for an increase in good, holy vocations and for all people to have hearts that seek first the Kingdom of God. Pray that the Lord would raise up faithful workers for his harvest from our parish community, and that our young people would always be attentive to the voice of the Lord speaking in the silence of their hearts.