Vocation.com a "Virtual World of Vocation Insights"
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The May 15, 2002, edition of the Long Island Catholic, a diocesan newspaper, includes the following article on Vocation.com, a service of the Legion of Christ inspired by Father Anthony Bannon´s LC book "Peter on the Shore".
May 15, 2002
|The Web's Catholic vocation resource|
Recently, I had the privilege of participating
in the Third Continental Congress on vocations to the priesthood
and consecrated life. Close to 1,200 delegates from the
United States, Canada, and several Central American countries gathered in
Montreal to generate tactics and visions to develop a pastoral
plan for fostering vocations. The delegates came from a
wide variety of backgrounds including about 200 young adults.
A young man, seated at our table, was
a senior in high school and was planning on joining
the Navy after graduation from high school. His youth
director had suggested that he come to this gathering.
Early on in our several days in Montreal he said
to me: “What is a vocation, anyways?” That was
such a fundamental question, one to which I thought everyone
knew the answer, that I had to pause for a
few minutes and think. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit seemed
to provide the right words at the right time.
How would you answer that question?
there is a great website that analyzes the question and
provides very solid answers for both men and women.
A cursory visit to http://Vocation.com may leave viewers with
the impression that there is not much there. Wrong!
The unpretentious file folders on the right-hand side of
the screen are actually gateways to a virtual world of
So, where should one begin?
Well, the “Vocation Basics” folder sounds like the best
place. Indeed, the basics are there. In question
and answer style, readers discover that, if God is calling,
He deserves an answer, either yes or no. To
answer appropriately, there are some visible signs: good physical, spiritual,
and psychological health and a love of God demonstrated by
one’s good behavior and the living of virtue.
Of course, an essential element to discerning a call
from God is prayer. The website not only offers
some very practical suggestions for appropriate prayer forms, but also
some outstanding meditation texts along with questions to help guide
To help those who might
visit the site on a regular basis, possibly because they
are seriously discerning a vocation to priesthood or consecrated life,
the developers have a “question of the day” and “meditation
of the day.” The answers to the questions
are profound and respond to the questioning spirit present in
so many young people. The contents of the meditations
speak to the longings found in the hearts of so
many as they try to discern God’s will for them.
These meditations are not for the feint-hearted, but they
lead the person through the depths of spiritual longing so
one is able to respond more responsibly to God’s invitation.
In discerning a vocation, there are no
spectacular divine signs. Discerning any vocation in life is
hard work and is not something with a quick answer.
The authors have provided a type of discernment checklist.
The elements in the list have withstood the test
of time: prayer, a rule of life, a spiritual director,
and sacrifice. Each element in this checklist is important, but
I would like to say a special word about a
In discerning a vocation, young
people sometimes believe that they have to go it alone.
Choosing a spiritual director provides good guidance and direction
to anyone seeking a greater relationship with the Lord and
especially to one whom God may be calling to priesthood
or consecrated life. In attempting to discover what God
is calling a person to do, a person may unintentionally
ask the wrong person for advice. A spiritual director
is really the best qualified to help the candidate see
where God is calling.
Is God calling you
to priesthood or consecrated life? This website can help
you find the answer. Maybe you could clip out
this article and send it to someone that you think
should be discerning a call to priesthood or consecrated life.
God calls in strange ways. Maybe you could
be His messenger.
By Msgr. Robert H. Aucoin
For more questions and
answers on vocations please visit Vocation.com
Msgr. Aucoin is
a priest of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, NY, and rector
of Wadhams Hall Seminary - College in Ogdensburg. In
addition to parish ministry, Msgr. Aucoin has spent 21 years
in ministry in Catholic high school, college and seminary
education. Prior to his present assignment, he was chancellor
in the Ogdensburg diocese.
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