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Day of Prayer for Vocations and Mother's Day

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

May 8, 2019

We know that by virtue of our baptism, each of us is called to become a saint, to be holy. In his Message for the 56th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis wrote: “The Lord’s call…is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking. He opens before our eyes the horizon of a greater sea and an abundant catch.” The awesome challenge and excitement of encountering Jesus – and sharing the fruits of that ever-developing relationship with Him – defines each of our vocations. Because the Lord’s invitation to participate in this great undertaking is steeped in Divine Love, we will know fulfillment and everlasting joy when we respond with a generous heart.

In a special way today, Mother’s Day, we recognize the importance of our mothers’ generous response to the Lord’s call and her (and dad’s) crucial role in helping our children encounter and then respond to the Lord’s invitation to follow Him. We pay tribute today to our moms and promise them our prayers as they live out their saintly vocation amid the worries and struggles to be a faithful disciple today.

We know that it’s not easy to discern one’s vocation. The Holy Father said that, for this reason, “there needs to be a renewed commitment on the part of the whole Church…to provide young people in particular with opportunities…that can open the way to discovering God’s plan, above all through prayer, meditation on God’s Word, Eucharistic adoration and spiritual accompaniment.” As you know, we have made such a commitment as we continue to address our diocesan Priorities of Creating a Culture of Vocations, Strengthening Faith Formation in Family Life and Building Parishes with Living Stones.

I’m grateful to all those in our parishes who serve on parish vocation committees, as well as Father Doug Lucia, Director of Vocations and Seminarians, and Catherine Russell, Diocesan Vocations Coordinator. We are blessed to have a very active Diocesan Vocations Society (DOV’s) whose ongoing support of Church vocations in the Diocese of Ogdensburg is a great gift. The Church is blessed with parents, those living the single state, consecrated religious, deacons and priests who exude the joy of the Gospel in their chosen vocations. Let us continue to pray for our seminarians and deacon aspirants as they discern the Lord’s call in their lives.

Our Blessed Mother’s trusting response to the angel Gabriel didn’t protect her from the struggles and challenges of discipleship. We should expect nothing less. We pray for the same courage and deep faith to embrace the difficult mission of discipleship and be a part of such a great undertaking. We ask the Lord to help us discover and celebrate His plan for our lives.

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