Each year on the Sunday closest to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the universal Church celebrates and gives thanks for those men and women who have responded to God’s call and have become followers of Jesus through profession of vows and a life dedicated to prayer and service. These include religious sisters, nuns, brothers, religious priests, and monks who profess evangelical vows and live as part of a community as well as single laypersons who choose to become consecrated virgins, hermits, or join a secular institute.This feast was chosen since it is “an eloquent icon of the total offering of one’s life for all those who are called to show forth in the church and in the world . . . ‘the characteristic features of Jesus–the chaste, poor, and obedient one.’ ” (Pope John Paul II)On this day we honor and cherish those who have made this special comment to God and are asked to reflect on how we are called to consecrate our lives in service to God and humanity. Let us remember to pray in thanksgiving for those who have dedicated their lives to God and for those whom God may be calling to such a dedication.
PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
We rejoice in your gift of life to us.You created us out of your abundant love.Empower us to nurture this giftwith the grace of gospel living.
You sent us your son Jesusto show us the way to fullness of life.Open us, through your Spirit,and guide us on our journey to holiness.
Grace our Church with women and menwho respond wholeheartedly to your callto the consecrated life for the sake of the gospel.
We praise you now and always in union with Jesusthrough the power of the Spirit.
Sister Mary Catherine Shambour
Sister Mary E.Catherine Shambour currently serves as Vocation Director Minister for St. Scholastica Monastery. She had had many years of experience teaching on the secondary and college levels, and has frequently traveled to Russia and the Soviet Union as a student, teacher, tour leader, and volunteer church worker.See all of Sister Mary Catherine’s posts.