Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
Over the past several weeks we have been conducting our annual parish stewardship campaign: Live Courageously, Love Heroically. Stewardship, as we have been discussing, means first acknowledging our deepest identity as God’s children and trusting in His providence, recognizing that everything we have is a gift from Him. Consequently, we are led to a deep sense of gratitude and strive to use God’s gifts well by living a life of courageous and heroic love.
So far, we have made commitments to express our gratitude by giving God a tithe of our time through prayer and faith formation. Subsequently, we committed a tithe of our talents through participation in different ministries in the parish. And last week, we made a tithe of our treasure through a commitment to support the needs of our parish. Next week, we will complete the final component of our stewardship campaign by making a commitment to vocations. When we think about “vocations,” we typically think about vocations to the priesthood or religious life. But in reality, marriage is also vocation from God. And for those who remain single due to some particular circumstance, this is also a vocation.
You may remember when I was speaking about my own vocation story, I recalled that at a certain point, I realized that my very life was a gift from God, and I was merely a steward of this gift. And I realized that God was asking me to be willing to give my life back to Him in whatever way He was calling me to. And so, it is fitting to complete our stewardship campaign with a commitment to make sure our vocations truly are bearing fruit, and that we are generously giving back to God the gift of our entire lives.
Some of the ways that I will be inviting you to exercise your stewardship of vocations will be to make a commitment to support vocations by praying for religious vocations in general on a regular basis, or through participation in our Elijah Cup program, or by simply committing to praying for our seminarians using the “31 Club” cards. I will also be inviting you to consider prayerfully nominating men and women who you think might have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.
With regard to the vocation to marriage, I will be inviting you to consider making a commitment to “do something for your marriage.” Here in the parish, we have several opportunities to participate in marriage-related ministries like our Couples of Faith program, our Natural Family Planning ministry, Marriage Encounter retreats, Retrouvaille ministry, or you may commit to attending our Faith and Love conference in March.
As we reflect on the gift of our vocations, this week, please pray about the ways the Lord is calling you to support vocations, whether they be your own vocation or someone else’s.