Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Vocation Awareness Week: everyone is called to holiness
by Father Daniel Barnett, for the Inland Register
(From the October 15, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)
Blessed Mother Teresa once famously said, “Holiness is not the luxury of the few. It is a simple duty for you and for me.” In her characteristic brevity, she summarized what the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council wrote almost 51 years ago: “… all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity…” (Lumen Gentium, 39). Each person is called to be a saint.
Providentially, this year Vocations Awareness Week begins on Sunday, Nov. 1 – the Solemnity of All Saints. Vocations Awareness Week is not merely for young people considering priesthood or Religious life, but for everyone. Each person is called to discern his or her own vocation, but to help others discern theirs. How do we do that?
The first and most important step is prayer. We grow in holiness and fulfill our own destiny when we spend time with God in prayer. And part of our prayer should include prayer for others, especially that each person understands and accepts his or her vocation with courage and joy. There are many ways to do this.
For example, when you receive Holy Communion, thank Jesus for his gift, and ask him to call men from your parish to continue giving him to others. After all, who will take that priest’s place in 20 years?
Many parishes offer Eucharistic Adoration on a regular or perpetual basis. Spend some time in adoration, praying that each person in your parish will understand and accept his or her vocation. Or offer up some suffering as a prayer for others. This may not reduce the pain you experience, but will transform it into a powerful prayer and give it meaning.
It is especially urgent to pray for more holy vocations to the priesthood, and for the seminarians who are currently discerning a call to serve as priests for the Diocese of Spokane. Please ask the Lord to make his will clearly understood to them and the formation faculty, and to give these men strength and courage to respond generously.
Currently, our diocese has four seminarians in formation.
Peter Fazzari is in his first year of theology studies at Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Originally from Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Walla Walla, he graduated in 2015 from Gonzaga University after two years of formation at Bishop White Seminary with a BA in Philosophy and minor in music.
Raymond Kalema is originally from Uganda, where he studied for the Archdiocese of Kampala. After completing one year of theology studies there, he came to the Diocese of Spokane in 2014. He spent a year at Bishop White Seminary. He is currently in the second year of theology studies at Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Erick Ramirez is currently in his first year of formation at Bishop White Seminary. After moving with his family to the United States from Oaxaca, Mexico when he was a child, he graduated from Chiawana High School in Pasco in 2011. Erick has been very active in his home parish, St. Patrick (Pasco), especially in the young adult group Grupo Frassati and in various liturgical ministries.
Chase Willcuts is completing his Master of Arts in Philosophy at Gonzaga University as part of the Pre-Theology program at Bishop White Seminary. Originally from Newberg, Ore., he is also engaged in the study of classical languages in preparation for theological studies.
The Lord continues to call each person to the heights of holiness. Through mutual prayer, we can help each other to understand our vocations, and respond with joyful generosity and sacrificial love.
(Father Daniel Barnett is rector of Bishop White Seminary and Vocations Director for the Diocese of Spokane. He can be reached by phone at (509) 313-7102; by mail at Bishop White Seminary, 429 E. Sharp Ave., Spokane, WA 99202; and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available online at vocationsspokane.org)
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