Searching for answers: Vocation FAQs               

    What is a Vocation?

    A vocation is God's invitation or calling to each individual to love and serve Him and His Church in a particular state or way of life.

    Can't I be whatever I want?

    Yes! Each person's freedom lies in discovering his or her vocation and in generously responding to the Lord who calls them to such great things

    How do I know what God is calling me to be?

    You must pray   every day, asking God to reveal His plan for you. Do not ask yourself, " What do   I want to do with my life?" This is the wrong question! Rather, you should be thinking and asking: "Jesus what do you want me to be?   How do you want me to love You?" And listen for the answer! Listen with your   heart, not just your head.

    PART I: Dating is to Marriage as Seminary is to Priesthoood

    PART II: Marriage...perhaps Priesthood, What is God's Will?



    Can I be happy in my life if I don't follow the vocation Jesus invites me to embrace?
    If someone does not follow the vocation for which Christ made them, they can attain a certain degree of happiness in this   world and still attain salvation. However, they will not be as happy or blessed   as they might have been had they followed their proper vocation. This is why it is so important that everyone discern their particular vocation prayerfully and   responsibly. Of course, there are trials and challenges in every vocation. To   become a priest or consecrated religious does not take away all suffering, neither does becoming a husband or wife take away all suffering. But   there is great joy in laying down one's life for Christ. Your vocation is   Christ's gift to you. How you respond is your gift to Him.


    Most people are called to the married state of life while others are chosen and called to the state of election as priests or consecrated religious men and women. Some single and married men are called by Christ to be permanent deacons. Christ also calls some men and women to the consecrated single life. Remember—it is normal to desire marriage and family, but just because you have this desire does not exclude the possibility that you have a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life.


    If I decide to enter the seminary or convent to "give it a try" am I commited for life?
    No, you are not. Most vocation directors agree that the only way to really know that you have a vocation to priesthood or religious life is to enter the seminary or convent. During the formation years God's will becomes more and more clear as you pray and discern with others. The years spent in formation are a benefit to you spiritually even if you discover   that you are not called to be a priest or consecrated religious.


    I'm not all that "holy". Can I still be a priest or consecrated religious?
    Holiness—being like Jesus—is a lifetime endeavor for every person in every vocation. If you don't see yourself as very holy right now, know that God will change you slowly, day by day and week by week. When the time is right, you will be ready to be His instrument of   grace for others. But for now, frequent the Sacrament of Penance at least once a month. Repent of your sins, receive the sacraments and pray every day. You will be surprised at how Christ-like you can become.


    Building a vocation culture requires that young people become aware of the   tremendous dignity of their call to holiness and a life lived in union with Christ. They must be encouraged to understand that the deepest longing of the human heart is to know and love Our Lord personally, to follow Him faithfully and to serve Him generously in whatever vocation He is inviting them to embrace


    Christ calls us to be holy, to be conformed more closely to His image and   likeness. Growth in holiness is a continuous spiritual development, nurtured by   the Sacraments, personal prayer and spiritual reading. In the words of Pope John   Paul II,


    The call to holiness is a universal call, valid for all human beings without   distinction of age, profession, race or language. Just as all are redeemed, so   all are called. The vocation to holiness, in fact, means putting into practice   in one’s own daily life, the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.


    The general call to holiness is concretized through one’s particular   vocation. The following areas are offered as an aid to become more open to that   vocation and thus, to follow Christ more closely.




    Pray ... asking the Lord to show you the vocation He has prepared for you and   invites you to embrace.


    Listen ... to God and have the courage to respond to Him freely and   generously.


    Recite ... the rosary daily, asking Mary, the Mother of Christ and the Mother   of us all, to intercede with her Son on your behalf.


    Make ... Eucharistic Holy Hours, placing yourself in the Real Presence of the   One who calls, the One who invites.


    Read ... and meditate on Sacred Scripture and other good spiritual reading including the lives of the saints.


    Attend ... Mass and receive Holy Communion as often as your state in life and   current responsibilities will allow.


    Go ... to confession frequently and consistently.


    Serve ... your parish, and elsewhere, as needed and as you are able.


    Talk ... with a priest or consecrated religious about your vocation questions   and concerns, seeking spiritual direction and guidance.


    Contact ... the Diocesan Office of Vocations so we may assist you in any way we can.