Weekly Vocations Message
At St. Joan of Arc, we are blessed to have both diocesan priests and priests who belong to a religious order. What is the difference?
Diocesan priests are ordained for a particular diocese and serve ordinarily in parishes. This is their main work, although some are engaged in other ministries as well. They take the vows of obedience to the bishop and to remain celibate. They are expected to live simply, but do not take a vow of poverty which allows them to own property. At their ordination as deacons, they incardinate (affiliate) with a particular diocese or archdiocese. At this time they make a promise to obey their bishop and, in the Western Church, to remain celibate.
Religious Order priests are not necessarily more spiritual than diocesan priests. The word refers in this case to the form of life these priests live. All men and women who make public vows in a religious order are called religious. It means that by their vows of poverty, celibate chastity, and obedience, their lives are oriented in a special way to the virtue of religion so that all they do becomes a continual act of the worship of God.
This is true of all religious, sisters and brothers as well as priests. Ordinarily they live and pray in community. Many of them wear a religious habit. Often they are engaged in a specialized form of ministry.
*Source: Catholic Answers
Video: The difference between diocesan priests and priests in a religious order:
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVZNLbazoc0
Here is a blog post on “Seminarian Parents” from a father whose son is discerning a vocation with the Paulist Fathers.
Blog Post Link: Seminarian Parents - “What is an Order Priest?”
Why Does It Take So Long?
Formation for priesthood consists of 4 pillars: Intellectual, Spiritual, Pastoral and Human. The Master’s degree provides the intellectual formation, but the road to priesthood requires the development of maturity, knowledge and skills in the other pillars. Priestly formation is a highly structured program of development of the entire person. The bar is set high for our future priests which is no less than what the people of God deserve.
Mundelein Seminary in Chicago has posted a video on the academic steps to become a priest: from College Seminary or Pre-Theology to Major Seminary to Transitional Diaconate to Ordination. This is a very clear explanation of the process.
YouTube Link: www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=r_J4OgKMiw4
Here is a link to a blog post on “Seminarian Parents” by a parent of a seminarian reflecting on the length of seminary education and formation.
Link: Seminarian Parents - How Long does it take to become a priest? Part 1
What is a Vocation?
God creates every person for a specific vocation which will provide them with the greatest happiness in life and a path to reach heaven. Their gifts and abilities are to be developed for use in this vocation.
“Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.” (CCC) To discern your vocation, an individual must discern how has God called them to love. Most commonly, men and women live out their vocation to love in the sacrament of marriage within family life. Others are created to love in a special way in the vocation of priesthood, religious life or single life.
What’s My Vocation? Or Everyone Has 3 Vocations:
“What should I do with my life?” It’s a question on many hearts, maybe even our own. In this video, Father Mike Schmitz gives some direction that can lead to an answer for ourselves or someone we know. He shares how a vocation is more than just figuring out whether we’re called to married life or religious life, and it’s about more than just finding out what we like to do. As he breaks down three different types of vocation we all have, he draws a practical path we can follow to pursue holiness.
SJA Vocations Ministry Mission Statement:
The mission of the St Joan of Arc Parish Vocation Ministry is to promote a culture of vocations to encourage individuals to live out their Baptismal promises. All vocations contribute to the life of the Church: Priesthood, Diaconate, Vowed Religious Life, Married and Single Life.
The SJA Vocations Ministry will regularly provide vocation education in the bulletin and on the parish website. If you are interesting in participating in the Vocations Ministry, please contact the parish office.