Last week was National Vocation Awareness Week and it was full of great opportunities to pray together and to learn more about discerning the vocation to which God has called each of us. And the excitement of that week was peaked by the huge news coming out of our local seminary.
With more and more men responding to the call being placed on their hearts through the grace effected by our continued prayers, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West has run out of room and, with the future looking bright, it was time to expand and make room for 30 more men to study at this historic facility! Here is the coverage of the ground breaking ceremony which happened on November 2nd:
This news of an expanding seminary can be quite a shock to those who are still living with the negative view of the priesthood that has been around for almost 20 years here in the United States and one news station took the time to look much deeper and find the source of this rise in vocations is actually coming from the least likeliest of places – millenials:
In addition to that great news and wonderful news coverage, more than 75 communities from across the state of Ohio prayed together during the Statewide Day of Adoration for Vocations on Wednesday. Religious communities, parishes and even Catholic High Schools joined together to beg the harvest master to send more laborers into the harvest. It was a beautiful experience for many:
We had a beautiful holy hour! We had over 15 people in our small convent. – Sr. Ana, OSC from the Sisters of St. Clare Poor Clares
We had a wonderful experience at St. Augustine in Minster. Parishioners commented how much they enjoyed a dedicated hour focused on praying for vocations… – Barb from St. Augustine, Minster, OH
I had some good time to think about and pray for many of the priests and nuns who’ve been a part of my life, some whom I
haven’t thought about in years, and at least one person (the priest who baptized me) that I’ve never met. I also prayed in a special way for my kids and their vocations, some of which have already been discerned, and some which are still in the process. – Joe from Ascension, Kettering, OH
And finally, the Serra Club of Cincinnati was able to complete their 9 day Bible Reading Novena during which they dedicated nearly 12 hours a day in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and recitation of the scriptures for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
These dedicated prayers across the state of Ohio are truly having a great impact on our local church and priestly and religious vocations are seeing a great time of flourishing. May we all continue to pray for our men and women in formation and for each other that we may have the courage to seek God’s will in our lives.
We are now exactly one month away from the start of National Vocation Awareness Week and we are excited to share the many great ways in which you can promote a culture of vocations throughout the week of November 5-11 in your parish, in your school and in your homes.
The greatest way to celebrate during this week is to pray as one Church for more vocations to the consecrated life and the priesthood. There are multiple opportunities to do that:
- November 4-12: Bible Reading Novena with the Serra Club of Cincinnati – The Serra Club will read aloud the entire Bible in 9 days of prayer for vocations. All are welcome to join as a reader or to just sit and receive the Word of God.
- November 8: Statewide Day of Adoration for Vocations – More than 30 local sites and parishes from across the state are joining in to pray for vocations all day!
- November 9: Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations with the Children of Mary and at St. Remy in Russia, OH
In addition to the prayer opportunities, Catechists and teachers (both traditional and home school) have access to great lesson plans throughout the week of Vocation Awareness week to inspire our children to think about the many ways God may call us to live out our universal call to holiness. Visit www.vocationlessons.com and enter access code CinciVocations513 to access the Teacher site and have your children enter code StFrancis513 to access all the student materials.
For pastors and parish staff, there are several high quality resources awaiting you at www.vocationawarenessweek.com to help you to celebrate and emphasize this important week.
Finally, don’t ever forget the importance of personal witness and invitation! Talk to your friends and family about vocations and encourage the young men and women in your life to consider that God might desire for them to serve the world as a priest or religious. Or, do you have a buddy who inspires you in your faith, is he called to be a permanent deacon? Year after year, the statistics are the same: most people consider a consecrated vocation only after having 4 different people encourage them in that call. Be one of those people!
More than a year ago we in the Vocation Office became aware of a new resource for all parishes to help them in creating a culture of vocations in their parishes and encouraging their young men and women to discern God’s will for their lives. This resource is a book called Hundredfold (also now available in Spanish!). It is a how-to guide for creating and maintaining a vocation ministry in any parish. Today, the author of the book and founder of VocationMinistry.com, Rhonda Gruenewald, released a new video that explains more completely the benefits of this book and the importance of creating a vocation ministry in every parish across the nation. Take a few minutes right now and be inspired!
If you would like to order copies of the book for your parish, go to our Vocation Materials order form and we will ship them to you absolutely free of charge. Once they arrive, let us know and we will meet with you to help you take the first steps in establishing your own vocation ministry.
Every other month, the seminarians at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West offer the public the chance to join them in their regular holy hour as they pray with us for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The first of these holy hours is coming up next weekend on Sunday, September 10th from 5-6pm. All people are invited to join in prayer at the main chapel of the seminary, St. Gregory the Great. If you are not able to make this holy hour, please mark your calendars for two more that will be coming this school year, November 12th or January 14th. Dates for the March and May opportunities have not yet been set.
The priests and parishioners of Our Lady of Good Hope would like to invite everyone to join them for a holy hour for vocations on Saturday, August 12th starting at 6pm. All are invited to join in praying for more men and women to answer the call to the priesthood and religious life to which God is calling them.
Following the holy hour, young men from the Dayton area who are considering entering seminary or who are current seminarians are invited to stay and join in an evening grill out and social. The parish will provide all food and refreshments for the evening.
For more information or to RSVP for the grill out, contact Fr. Jim Romanello at 937-434-9231.
This past Saturday was another great day for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as 4 young men- Craig Best, Jarred Kohn, Andrew Smith and Jacob Willig- were ordained transitional deacons by Bishop Joseph Binzer at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. It was a beautifully celebrated ceremony with a palpable sense of joy emanating from the newly ordained men, Bishop Binzer, the concelebrating priests, the numerous permanent deacons who came to celebrate and the entire assembly! To relive this wonderful day or to check out a few of the highlights that you missed, go to our newest photo gallery below! Please continue to pray for these men as they now enter their last year of formation toward priesthood.
On Friday, March 24, 2017, the seminarians of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West will once again be hosting Vigil Praise, an evening of Eucharistic adoration for people of all ages, including families young and old!
This evening will be led by Fr. Jason Williams who, in addition to presiding over the Rite of Exposition and Benediction, will also be preaching on Mary’s fiat on the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation.
The evening will begin at 7pm and will conclude with an evening social following benediction at 8:00pm. There is no charge for this event!
For more information, click on the flyer image above.
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