Ordination to the priesthood is always a call and a gift from God. Christ reminded his Apostles that they needed to ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest. Those who seek priesthood respond generously to God’s call using the words of the prophet, “Here I am, send me” (Is 6:8). This call from God can be recognized and understood from the daily signs that disclose his will to those in charge of discerning the vocation of the candidate. ~ United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Most Catholics associate the word vocation primarily with the priesthood, permanent diaconate or consecrated life. The church affirms marriage as a sacrament and a vocation. St. John Paul II and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have affirmed the vocation of the laity who are called to serve as lay ecclesial ministers. The church also understands the single life as a secondary vocation, rather than a state in life.
How does a person discover his or her unique and deepest identity?
Discernment is the name given to this search. It involves an ongoing process of conversion and maturing discipleship that sharpens the senses to be attuned to the call of God. An important element of discernment is understanding that the followers of Christ are called for others. Although discernment differs for each person, prayer, reflection, questioning, cultivating a sense of openness to God and personal growth, and seeking the counsel of another are common discernment practices.
“Quo Vadis” is the Latin phrase for “Where are you going?” The legend is that St. Peter was fleeing the persecution of Nero in Rome when he saw Jesus walking into the city. Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus responds, “To Rome to be crucified.” Then Jesus disappeared. At that moment, Peter headed back into Rome to face martyrdom.
Anyone interested in learning about the vocation of priesthood, is invited to contact the pastor by calling the parish office at 724-845-8191 or by contacting the Diocesan Office of Clergy Vocations at 724-837-0901.