Why Promote Vocations to Families?
As the Second Vatican Council document, Lumen Gentium, states, the family is “the domestic church.” The family, the vital cell of society, instills Christian virtue in men and women to serve Christ and the Church. It is primarily from the family, the true “seedbed of vocations,” we hope and pray many vocations develop for the Church.
Many popes, saints and church documents have expressed the importance of families in promoting vocations:
“Let us not forget that Christian marriage is a vocation to holiness in the full sense of the word, and that the example of holy parents is the first condition favorable for the flowering of priestly and religious vocations.”
-Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Prayer for Vocations, May 7, 2006
“I would like to speak into the ear of so many men and women: giving up one’s children to the service of God is not a sacrifice: it is an honor and a joy.”
-St. Josemaria Escriva, Founder of Opus Dei
“The family must educate the children for life in such a way that each one may fully perform his or her role according to the vocation received from God. Indeed, the family that is open to transcendent values, that serves its brothers and sisters with joy, that fulfills its duties with generous fidelity, and is aware of its daily sharing in the mystery of the glorious Cross of Christ, becomes the primary and most excellent seedbed of vocations to a life of consecration to the kingdom of God.” (53)
–Familiaris Consortio; Apostolic Exhortation by Pope John Paul II
“Christian husbands and wives are cooperators in grace and witnesses of faith for each other, their children, and all others in their household. They are the first to communicate the faith to their children and to educate them by word and example for the Christian and apostolic life. They prudently help them in the choice of their vocation and carefully promote any sacred vocation which they may discern in them.” (11)
–Apostolicam Actuositatem, Vatican II document on the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity
Powerful Evangelization: Witnesses of Love
Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical on Evangelization in the Modern World, Evangelii Nuntiandi, said, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” In our Family Vocation Days, the laity are evangelized by faithful witnesses, namely Priests and Consecrated Religious. Their lives are powerful testimonies of Christ and His Gospel and will help others realize the important message of Christ.
Some of the topics that will be shared by Priests and Consecrated Religious during our Vocation Days include: the joy God grants to those serving as a priest and/or a religious, the difference between the diocesan priesthood and the religious priesthood, and the evangelical counsels (the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience).