By Megan Erbacher
The Message assistant editor
When you hear the word vocations, what first comes to mind? I immediately think about the priesthood and religious life. And then, for some reason, I naively believe it stops there.
While the priesthood and religious life are very important vocations to consider and discern, it doesn’t stop there.
Do you know yet what God is calling you to do in life?
As I recently listened to Benedictine Father Denis Robinson, President-Rector of Saint Meinrad Seminary and College of Theology, during the yearly Serra Club Vocations Awareness Luncheon last week, I was quickly reminded of the variety of vocations.
The Serra Club annually honors Catholic School eighth-graders during the program, which coincided with National Vocation Awareness Week from Nov. 3-9, and recognized students for creating projects focused on different vocations.
I was so impressed by the projects our diocesan eighth-graders submitted. They were beautifully creative and varied from the priesthood and religious life to married life. One student created a board game titled “Don’t Be Late to Church;” another student designed greeting cards with encouraging messages to send to seminarians; while yet another hand-painted Russian nesting dolls, designating the smallest doll to represent the Holy Spirit because it fits inside all the others. That’s just a small sampling of what students created.
Serra Club President John East noted during the event 351 eighth-graders submitted projects. How wonderful is it that our diocese has at least 351 young people thinking about diverse vocations?
Father Denis told students that, at Saint Meinrad, they are focused on building up the life of the church through particular vocations, but it’s essential to remember “vocation is not only about priests and lay ministers and deacons.” He said each one of us is given a vocation by God, a unique calling, which includes religious life, single life and married life.
Serra Club member Bob Smith told students God may be calling them to a lot of different things as young people, but if they cultivate a relationship with Jesus and know that relationship it will allow them to be able to discern their vocation to know what Jesus wants for them.
Are you feeling pulled in a certain direction, but you’re unsure how to discern it? There are plenty of people who are more than happy to help you through that process. Reach out to your parish priest, or to Diocesan Vocation Director Father Alex Zenthoefer or Associate Vocation Director Father Tyler Tenbarge.
Don’t forget about the Father Deydier House of Discernment and Monday Nights with Father Tenbarge at Sacred Heart Church for a Holy Hour for Vocations at 6:30 p.m., followed by Mass at 7:30 p.m.
And if you missed Father Zenthoefer’s article, “To those who will listen” in the Nov. 1 issue of The Message, I suggest you check out his wonderful reflection on our website evdiomessage.org/to-those-who-will-listen/.
Whatever your vocation may be, as Father Denis said, “All of us are called to build up the kingdom of God.”
Let us all go forth to do just that.