Today marks the 57th‘World Day of Vocations’, a day for us to pray for our own vocation and for others to find the strength to seek their own vocations. The word vocation is often associated with those who dedicate their lives to God, but a vocation is more than this, it is one’s calling from God and can include a vocation to one’s spouse or responsibility in civil society.
His Holiness Pope Francis in his letter ahead of World Day of Vocations acknowledges this, but also acknowledges that while the headwinds of vocations can wear us down, it can in a particular way for those “who have embraced the consecrated life”.
His Holiness chooses the words “pain, gratitude, encouragement and praise” to address all of the people of God. The vocation our sisters have taken reflect these words, in particular our fourth vow, one of service of the poor. Women in today’s world who consider a life within a congregation often have a feeling or pull within them that will not go away, similar to someone catching the travel bug, even when you are not travelling it is still there. This does not automatically translate to religious life, finding your vocation is a journey and involves many steps.
For example, those interested in life within our congregation will be invited to an informal conversation, where one of our sisters will discuss what they are feeling, their thoughts on joining the congregation, their current life and religious life. This is not limited to one meeting and can be a conversation spanning from one day to over a year. If upon reflection they wish to continue, they will become a candidate where they will live within the community and experience the work and life of our sisters, again there is no commitment. Life as a candidate usually lasts for a year. After mutual agreement, candidate becomes a novice. The novitiate lasts normally two years and is a chance for the novice to learn about religious life and experience community life and some of the ministries of the congregation. From here the novice takes their First Vows and becomes temporary professed, these vows typically last three years and are renewed for another three years before the Final Vows where the temporary professed becomes a full member of the congregation, taking perpetual vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and service of the poor.
Message of His Holiness Pope Francis, For the 2929 World Day of Vocations: Click Here
Prayer to Discover Your Vocation
You have made me to know you,
To love you, and to serve you,
And thereby to find and fulfil myself.
I know that you are in all things
And that every path can lead me to you,
But, of them all, there is one path especially
By which you want me to come to you.
Since I will do what you want of me,
I pray you; send your Holy Spirit to me;
Into my mind to show me what you want of me;
Into my heart to give me the determination to do it,
And to do it with all my love, with all my mind,
And with all my strength, right to the end.