Up Front and Personal

Year of Vocations: Reawaken the Call

Pope Francis’ vision in his pontificate seeks to reawaken the Church by reclaiming the sense of mission in the hearts of all its followers once again.

In that same spirit, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has announced a special Year of Vocations to invite the Diocese of Brooklyn to “Reawaken the Call” in each of our lives. It is an invitation for all of us to break out of our comfort zone and rediscover the passion in what gives meaning and purpose in our lives as Christians.

Therefore, we find ourselves in a time of rejuvenation in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Let us enter into this year by giving thanks to Almighty God for all of the gifts and blessings that he has given us and for the calling that He has placed in our lives. This Friday, Aug. 4, Bishop DiMarzio will give thanks as he celebrates a special Mass with his seminarians surrounded by their family members as the Church of Brooklyn begins this special year.

New Website Launched

There are many special events planned for the Year of Vocations; to check out what we are doing, visit our newly updated website: www.brooklynpriests.org, which will be launched on Aug. 4, the feast of St. John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests. If you are interested in receiving monthly updates about vocation events and stories, please send us your email at vocations@diobrook.org.

Here in The Tablet each week, we will be sharing inspiring vocation stories about priesthood, religious life and family/married life. The first installment is a beautiful piece from Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto about the vocations of two people close to his heart.

We need to “Reawaken the Call” by sharing our stories of faith and how we have come to discover our vocations and help our younger generations to find theirs. We need to dispel the myths that priests are unhappy, that no one is entering religious life and that there is no commitment in marriage anymore.

It’s not healthy to keep following a well-worn path. If we believe that God has a plan for each of us – our vocations – then we don’t just go with the flow. We need to seek God’s will and we can’t do it alone; we need to support and encourage one another. This will be evident each week as you read a new vocation story.

Pope Francis acknowledged this during his address for the 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations. He said, “No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself.” A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people in the experience of fraternal love.

During the month of July, 80 high school students from the Diocese of Rockville Centre and Brooklyn gathered at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, L.I., for a weeklong summer camp that consisted of prayer, service, talks given by priests and sisters, and plenty of fun and games.

On July 22, two Little Sisters of the Poor made their first profession at St. Ann’s Novitiate in Queens Village. The Sisters of Life are celebrating the first profession of eight new sisters, with one of them being Brooklyn’s own Sister Anastasia Chiara Luce, a member of Our Lady of Sorrows parish, Corona, on Aug. 3.

Please keep these newly professed sisters in your prayers as they now enter a new stage in their consecrated life. It is very clear that the young Church is alive and eager to respond to God’s calling and we can continue to foster this desire in young people’s hearts by making vocations and discernment a top priority.

We all have a role in cultivating a culture of vocations in Brooklyn and Queens.

So Bishop DiMarzio is asking for a renewed commitment among priests, religious, deacons, teachers, catechists, coaches, and youth ministers to keep vocations at the forefront of their own ministry.

It is our goal that during the Year of Vocations every parish in Brooklyn and Queens will have a functioning Parish Vocation Committee. Let’s get started with making a prayer pledge for vocations today at www.invisiblemonastery.com. This is an easy way for individuals, couples, schools, and classes to pledge prayers and see the numbers grow and prayers received.

May the intercession of Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception and St. John Vianney direct and guide our efforts in the Special Year of Vocations as the Church of Brooklyn is missioned to “Reawaken the Call.”

Father Suckiel is the diocesan vocations director for the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens.