/ / From the pastor’s desk—Nov. 7, 2021

From the pastor’s desk—Nov. 7, 2021

Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This week in the Church we celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week (November 7-13) which is traditionally a time to encourage our youth to consider a call to priesthood or religious life. For all of us, this week is a time to let our youth know that should God call them, we will support them in their call. So many vocations are lost because they are not supported in their families. Our future as a Church depends on them.

What can we do as a parish to help support our youth to find their call? First, we need to take a little time to learn about vocations ourselves. Do we know the difference between religious life and diocesan life? Do we know any religious or priests personally? Can I take a little time on the internet this week to look at a vocation website to learn more? There are hundreds of ways to support them, from talking about it with them, encouraging them to go to World Youth Day, or inviting them to go to our next youth Congress in Tulsa. We can also encourage our children to become servers, lectors, and ushers. We can ask them to help us form a new youth group here. We can make sure we pray for vocations at home and to be sure to have them join us on Sundays. Lastly, you can let Father know you are interested in helping to promote vocations with our youth, as we are forming a vocation promotion team.

If this week is about an awareness of all vocations, that means that we also must mention the call to be married in the Church. When one considers that the divorce rate of Catholics is half of the general population, one can see the added value of marriage in the Church. But the reason to be married in the Church, or chooses religious life/priesthood, is more about doing what God has made you for, and doing what brings you to life more fully and some people are called to do that as a sister, brother, priest, or deacon. If you or any young person would like to talk more about the possibility of being called, please feel free to speak with me, as my first assignment with the Claretians was as vocation director.

Vocation is simply a reminder of Jesus’ words, “I came that you may have life, and have it to the full.” May we help our children have the fullest life possible.

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray