by Father Sean M. Suckiel
IN THE WEEK ahead, the Catholic Church in the United States is celebrating National Vocation Awareness Week. It is a celebration that is dedicated to promoting vocations to priesthood, religious life, the permanent diaconate and married life through prayer and education.
What does this mean for us in the Diocese of Brooklyn? 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 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.
Many of our bishops will be celebrating National Vocation Awareness Week by visiting several academies and religious education programs, sharing the message of vocations and giving their own vocation testimonies. The goal of these visits is to begin to plant the seed of a vocation early on in their formation.
Parishes, academies, religious education programs and youth groups are also asked to include, during the first week in November, prayer and special activities that focus on vocation awareness.
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 – sixth, seventh and eighth graders – 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 in Elmhurst.
Our high school level discernment group is called The Jeremiah Project. The Jeremiah Project 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 may be married life, single life, the diaconate, or priesthood. These overnight events are held at the Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston.
Project Andrews are opportunities for young men to learn more about the priesthood by joining one of the diocesan bishops and other priests and seminarians from the Brooklyn Diocese for an afternoon of prayer, dinner, and conversation.
Project Andrews are currently being offered in every deanery throughout the diocese during this special year.
The Vocation Office is also offering “Evenings of Fraternity” 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 Mondays at the Saint John Paul II House of Discernment, located at 341 Highland Blvd. in Cypress Hills.
Finally, check out the Vocation Office’s updated website, www.brooklynpriests.org and www.whatsmycalling.org.
Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter for more updates and information about the various vocation programs and events that are being offered in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Father Suckiel is the vocation director for the Diocese of Brooklyn.