Priesthood and Vocations
The vocation of marriage is the fulfilling of God’s plan for man and woman to ‘become one flesh’ in order to help each other grow in holiness, create a family and enrich the world. It is choosing a life-long spouse so you can give yourself fully in love, fruitfully in children, and faithfully in living out daily life together, sustained by the support of each other and the sacrament of marriage. If marriage is your vocation, discern this well by talking to married people, reading about the sacrament, and preparing well for your wedding day and life together.
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God calls men of all ages and from all walks of life to become priests, and each one experiences this call in a different way. Perhaps the thought of serving God as a priest is often on your mind. Or you may have even been asked about becoming a priest. God can work through anything – whether it’s people, events, thoughts or desires. God has many different ways of making this call known.
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Religious (Consecrated) Life
The call to religious life is always marked by a desire to serve God and God’s people, to care for the needy and to bring people to experience God’s love. But, since ministry is a part of every vocation, service is not the distinguishing characteristic of a call to consecrated life as a member of a religious congregation.
The uniqueness of the call to religious life is in living the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in community.
The essential service of the religious men and women is to witness to all the faithful that each of us is called to treat things, persons, and our own self with respect and as ultimately belonging to God.
At the heart of the call to religious life is a desire to give oneself to God in a way so total that the pursuit of union with God makes it impossible for anyone or anything to be more central. One becomes unavailable for marriage!
This is one of the oldest forms of consecrated life for women in the Catholic Church, existing since apostolic times. The consecrated virgin receives the title of the Church, bride of Christ, and she becomes a sacred person, but remains living in the world in the secular state, providing for her own living, and witnessing to God by her virginal life given exclusively to Jesus Christ, whose bride she is.
She lives her vocation in her own way according to her discernment as guided by her spiritual director and diocesan bishop. This vocation is also known as the Order of Virgins (or Ordo Virginum), but the word “order” used here refers simply to a distinct category of persons in the Church, not to a religious order or congregation.
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