A vocation is a call from God to a distinctive state of life, in which the person can pursue and reach holiness. The Church teaches that there is a universal call, or vocation, to holiness: God calls every person He creates to pursue and live a life of sanctity (cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, 39). “The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consumator of this holiness of life: ‘Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect’ [Mt 5:48]” (Lumen Gentium, 40).
In addition to the natural vocation to marriage (cf. Catechism, 1603), God calls some men and women to a supernatural vocation of the consecrated life (cf. Catechism, 915-916). The consecrated, or religious, life is marked by the evangelical counsels, or vows, of poverty, chastity and obedience, which configure the person more closely to Christ and foster the perfection of love of God and love of neighbor (cf. Lumen Gentium, 43-46). The evangelical counsels are most commonly lived out in a religious order or community recognized by the Church.
A second supernatural vocation recognized by the Church, based on the action of Christ in the Gospel, is the call to ordained ministry in the priesthood or diaconate. These vocations are essential to the institution of the Church, as designed and established by Christ, because they fulfill the offices and duties of teaching, sanctifying and governing (cf. Lumen Gentium, 28).
At St. Julie Billiart Parish we pray regularly for vocations. We have written a special prayer for vocations which can be seen below. Our hope is to be able to contribute even more tangibly to the answering of vocations by encouraging and sponsoring young men and women from our parish in their respective call to the priesthood and religious life. We pray that the Lord will call them and that many will listen and begin a discernment that is natural (and supernatural) to all Catholic young men and women as they discern their respective call from the Lord.
Parish Vocation Prayer
Lord God, the Provider of all our needs, You have asked us to pray for workers in the vineyard. Manifest in Your Church the Spirit whom you so abundantly bestowed on the Apostles at Pentecost.
Bless our parish and diocese with an increase of men and women to minister in Your Church as priests, deacons, and religious sisters and brothers. Form our Parish in Your Image to be the sacred environment for listening to the Spirit. May those whom You call give themselves, their time, and their talent to serve Your Son and the Church.
Increase the life of faith of our parish family that we may be a living sign of Your Kingdom for all to see. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.