Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake,
On August 13th the Diocese held their annual vocations night at the Lansing Lugnuts minor league baseball stadium. (If you are curious, the Lansing Lugnuts beat the Dayton Dragons 7-6)! All the seminarians were there along with many of the priests and sisters. It was very encouraging and uplifting evening. On behalf of all those discerning a call to religious life, I want to say thank you for your prayers and encouragement. They mean more than you could know.
Whenever we speak about vocations, the attention tends to shift to religious callings. What I was most moved by that night, though, was the other great vocation of marriage. Before the game, all the seminarians gathered with their families for a dinner. The hall was filled with the noise of chatter, laughter, and the noise of kids running all over the place. Families are the foundation for every vocation. Families rooted in Christ’s love bear abundant fruit, and that was what was evident that night.
Whenever you hear the vocation story of someone who is entering religious life, you are often given a picture of their home life. Not stories that were perfect, but ones where families strove amidst all the busyness and demands of our modern world to make Christ the center. I know this consists of parents striving and at times failing in their endeavors, but it is so important for those growing up to see their parents making that effort.
Indeed, I know parents can wonder if what they are doing is going to have any effect. Is the chaotic prayer time filled with kids who are not paying any attention doing any good? Does fighting for and finding the Mass while on vacation in a place that isn’t home worth it? Does being willing to stand out in the world and sometimes even among our friends and family for our faith matter? Can all these things, done imperfectly, be used by God?
The answer is an emphatic Yes! A yes witnessed at that Lugnuts game, in all these men and women answering a call from God because they saw what their parents did in and for their families. For when He called, they had already been shown the way. Let us pray for, support, and encourage our families, which are the seedbed for all vocations.