While this is officially “Vocations Awareness Week,” here in the Diocese of Jackson we are dedicated to the fact that all of us should be open to the will of God in our lives, and rooted in prayer and relationship with the Lord, we seek to live out whatever the call ends up being. We are vocationally aware every day.
Kathleen McMullin is a shining example of that. I remind you that Kathleen entered the community of the Franciscan Sisters of the Martyr St. George (Alton, Illinois) in early September. The call to consecrated life and the dedication to living out the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience is a call to live like Christ in a radical way.
Kathleen is discerning a call that in many ways provides her with more temporal challenges than the call to diocesan priesthood. As a diocesan priest, I can own things. If I want to go to the store, or to get some take-out, I can, and I can drive my own car there to boot. For Kathleen and vowed religious, everything they have is shared in common.
At the Benedictine monastery where I attended seminary it was always funny to see the monks fully habited driving back onto campus in random “community” vehicles that had to be “checked out” from their superior. This call to radical poverty is a path to freedom, however, and it gives Kathleen and her brothers and sisters the power to witness to a materialistic world that there is more to life than what we own. She has discerned that her call is to be in that community because she is confident in God’s love for her and she knows that no matter what happens, God will bring forth greater fulfillment in her life than anything else the world has to offer. She trusts that God has asked her to live and discern in that community for a reason, and I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for her.
Kathleen is in her late-20s, and she has been “vocationally aware,” for a very long time. She stayed open to God’s will while she graduated from high school, and college, and was trained as an occupational therapist, and finally she received the “go ahead” from the Lord to go deeper, to take a leap, and to trust him more fully. She was, and is, supported by a community of believers who inspire her and who are inspired by her. The fact that she remained open to this call and she was eventually able to respond to the Lord in such a beautiful way is a testament to the “Vocation Awareness” that is present in our diocese.
The greatest way we can remain “aware” is to pray for more vocations, and to pray for specific people in our community who we know are either thinking about priesthood or religious life or would make excellent priests and religious. Thank you for remaining vigilant and for continuing to beg the Lord of the harvest to send out more laborers into the field.
– Father Nick Adam
If you are interested in learning more about religious orders or vocations to the priesthood and religious life, please email Father Nick Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org.