This summer Bishop Kopacz gave me the exciting assignment of Vocation Director for the Diocese of Jackson. The perennial question for anyone in vocation work is: how do we get more young people into seminaries and houses of religious formation? The answer is simple, but the execution is difficult. We must create a culture of religious vocations in our diocese. Following the call of our pastoral plan to Inspire Disciples, we priests must be on the front lines of showing our young people the joy that comes from dedicating your life to the Lord.
I, along with Director of Seminarians Father Aaron Williams, have been working this summer to make discernment of vocations more “normal.” For too long many Catholics have seen the call to discern as reserved for one or maybe two young people in our communities, when really all people should discern what state of life God is calling them to until they come to moral certitude that they are called to a given state. Most people are called to married life, but many people being asked by the Lord to consider priesthood or religious life.
The Office of Vocations has undergone a facelift that we hope will make discernment less mysterious and more accessible to the People of God. We have created a new website, www.jacksonpriests.com, to help young men more easily connect with us as they discern their vocation. This site also has information regarding women’s religious life, along with resources for various stages of religious discernment. In each issue of Mississippi Catholic, I will be providing information regarding events for young men and women sponsored by our office, as well as other opportunities to support vocations. I will also be providing my vocation promotion schedule in each issue. I invite you to email email@example.com if you want me to come to speak to your parish, youth group, high school, elementary school, etc. This is what I am here for, this is what my mission is.
On Labor Day our five seminarians joined Bishop Kopacz for Mass at St. Peter’s and an informal dinner at his residence. It is a joy to watch these young men progress in their relationship with the Lord and with His Church. Please pray for the Lord of the Harvest to call more young people into His vineyard and pray that young men and women have the courage and the support they need to answer that call.
–Father Nick Adam
September Vocation Events
Wednesday, Sept. 18 – “Good Cheer” Oxford, gathering with Catholic men and women at Ole Miss.
Thursday – Saturday, Sept. 26-28 – “Nun-Run,” visiting several houses of women religious in South Louisiana.
Contact the Office of Vocations if interested – firstname.lastname@example.org