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April 29, 2020
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April 29, 2020

Vocations begin at home

This Sunday is World Day of Vocations. The Santa Rosa Parish Vocations Committee prepared a newsletter for Vocations Month (May 3–24) in the Santa Rosa/Malabar Cluster. Here are some of their stories.

By Fr Steve Duncan

Moderator, Santa Rosa/Malabar Cluster

In recent years, the ‘Vocations Cup’ was introduced to the parishes of our Archdiocese, as a means of raising awareness about the need for vocations. For those who might be wondering what the Vocations Cup is, let me briefly explain.

The Vocations Cup is meant to be the vessel (in our Cluster, a chalice is used) around which family members are encouraged to gather for daily prayer and reflection.

A prayer format is given to each family who accepts to take the Cup. This prayer routine focuses on encouraging young men and women to heed the call of the Lord to a life of serving Him.

Of course, given that the action of gathering and praying is happening in a particular household on a rotation basis, the hope is that, someone within that particular family would heed the call and by God’s grace, respond generously, by offering up his or her life in loving service to the Lord.

In this regard, I encourage as many families as possible, in the Cluster, to sign up for the Cup to come to your home, the Domestic Church.

Receiving the Vocations Cup is a reminder that firstly, vocations are the fruit of prayer.

Pray for an increase in vocations, especially to the priesthood and religious life.  Pray that many ears and hearts will be opened to the needs of a suffering world, crying out for the saving presence of God, through wounded healers.

Secondly, families are reminded that vocations are not magically attained.

Vocations are nurtured from among family members—the consequence of and witness to prayer in action.

Even if one argues that family life is itself, in crisis, it does not remove the responsibility to express a generous love for life even in the midst of contemporary challenges.

In the Baptism Liturgy, the Church prays over the father, asking that he will be the “first teacher” and with the mother, “the best of teachers” to their children.

Families are the first schools. It is there that Christian values are taught and lived, so that, an ultimate choice of a commitment to marriage, single or consecrated life can be made.

If the Church community is viewed as the gathering of individual families, then we begin to regard the continuous work of formation which happens in this second womb. Both the natural or adopted family and Church community work together therefore, to build a culture of vocations.

If we speak of a crisis in vocations, that discussion ought to refer to an examination of the quality of foundation laid.

Hosting the Vocations Cup remains both a privilege and responsibility. Its presence in the home speaks to the reality of sacrifice. It points to Jesus being the vessel, the source of life and nourishment. Those privileged to gather around the Cup have an opportunity to contemplate giving up of self for a greater cause.

Hopefully, that reflection would lead to the next stage, participating in the Cup of Sacrifice: a serious commitment of one’s life to the sanctity of a marriage, priesthood or religious life.