This week, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week. It is a week-long celebration dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, religious life, diaconate and married life through prayer and education.
What does this mean for us in our diocese? This is an opportunity for all parishes to raise awareness that we all have a unique purpose, given to us by God and we must all seek after that vocation with great zeal.
Also, this week, we want to pray for our priests who serve in our parishes and for the consecrated men and women who provide for us the vision of the heavenly reality where we all will be united fully with our Creator for all eternity.
In anticipation of National Vocation Awareness Week, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will gather with all of his seminarians and students from Cathedral Prep for an inter-seminary day of prayer and fraternity at the Immaculate Conception Center on the Solemnity of All Saints Day.
Loving Initiative of God
Pope Francis, in his message for the 2018 World Day of Vocations, emphasized that it is at the loving initiative of God and by His personal encounter with each of us, that one is called.
“Even amid these troubled times, the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God continually comes to encounter us. He is God-with-us, who walks along the often-dusty paths of our lives. He knows our anxious longing for love and he calls us to joy.
“In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness,” he said.
In the spirit of National Vocation Awareness Week, I would like to list and highlight all the different vocation programs that the Diocese of Brooklyn is offering for those who are open to the idea of the priesthood.
- Fraternitas is a group for middle-school students, who are in the sixth through eighth grades, that is dedicated to instilling Christian values in young men with the goal of fostering a true Catholic gentleman.
Our monthly encounters allow us to accomplish this mission through prayer, catechesis, sports, and sacraments. These gatherings take place at Cathedral Prep and Seminary High School.
- The Jeremiah Project is the name of our high school and college discernment group. It is an overnight experience for high school boys which is designed for young men who have demonstrated exemplary Christian values and who are willing to learn more about the possible vocations God may be calling them to, whether that be married life, single life, the diaconate or priesthood. These overnights are held at Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston.
- Project Andrews are currently being offered throughout the diocese in parishes, youth groups and high schools. Project Andrews are opportunities for young men to learn more about the priesthood by joining one of our diocesan bishops and other priests and seminarians from the Brooklyn Diocese for an afternoon of prayer, dinner and conversation.
- Evenings of Fraternity are offered by the Vocations Office for men who may be considering a vocation to priesthood. The evening consists of a 5 p.m. Holy Hour at the Carmelite Monastery followed by a meal and reflection on priesthood.
These evenings take place on select Mondays at the St. John Paul II House of Discernment, located at 341 Highland Blvd. in Cypress Hills.
Finally, check out our newly updated website, www.brooklynpriests.org and www.whatsmycalling.org and subscribe to our e-newsletter for more updates and information about the various vocation programs that are being offered in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Father Sean Suckiel is the vocation director for the Diocese of Brooklyn.