Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
National Vocation Awareness Week coincides with the first year of preparation for our diocese’s 50th anniversary jubilee. This year’s theme, “Do this in memory of me” (Lk 22:19), comes from Jesus’ words at the Last Supper when he instituted the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Holy Orders.
For me, and for all the priests of this great diocese, these words are a reminder that Jesus has called us to follow him as a priest, to re-present his sacrifice daily on the altar, and to feed the faithful with the Bread of Life, our necessary nourishment here on earth as we strive daily for holiness of life.
We know that Christ continues to call men to be ministers of the Church’s sacraments. We are blessed with 49 seminarians who are responding to that call, seeking to give their lives to make Christ present in the Eucharist.
Our diocese is also blessed to have almost 70 men and women in formation with religious orders throughout the world. These men and women, in addition to those already serving in our schools and hospitals and other apostolic works, give their lives in imitation of Christ, pursuing holiness and inspiring those around them to do the same.
In whatever path Our Lord has chosen for us, be it the priesthood, religious life, marriage, consecrated life, diaconate or the single life, we are called to become holy by setting aside time each day to be with Jesus in prayer, listening to him, learning from him and going forth to share his love with others.
Please join me this National Vocation Awareness Week as we pray particularly for priests, consecrated men and women, and married couples, that they remain steadfast in the promises and vows they made to God and to each other. We pray for those currently searching for their calling, that they be generous and courageous in following Christ. We pray for ourselves, that we, like Jesus, Mary and Joseph, give a more fervent “yes” each day to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Finally, we pray for our diocese as we embark upon this Year of the Eucharist in preparation for our Jubilee, that it be marked by an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
May God continue to bless you with abundant graces, as you follow his call in your life now and always.