Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives Follow Me
‘A wonder-filled adventure’

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

November 4, 2020

National Vocations Week begins on All Saints Day this year. Each of us is called to be holy, to become saints. I am humbled by the faith of all who seek to live out their baptismal call to holiness. I recently met with parishioners who were participating in a workshop as part of their Formation For Ministry program. They are an inspiring reminder to me of how many are responding eagerly to the universal call to holiness.

As I was reflecting on my own vocation, on how I landed where I am today, fond memories surfaced. “It’s not just a job. It’s an adventure” was the promotional ad used by the Department of the Navy to recruit women and men to join the Navy during the time I was considering enlisting way back in the last millennium. The TV commercials at the time showed sleek Navy aircraft soaring towards the heavens. The flight deck of a massive aircraft carrier is an impressive launching pad for an attractive adventure/career.

I was searching for what that wild blue yonder might hold in store for me when I decided to quit college and enlist for six years in the U.S. Navy. A certain restlessness led me to consider the possibilities out there. Perhaps it was the Blue Angels coaxing me towards the heavens. In retrospect, it was a rather impulsive decision, but one that I have never regretted.

The decision to respond to the call to the priesthood was anything but impulsive. It took more than slick promo for me to enter the seminary. As I have reflected over the years about my own vocation, clearly the launching pad for my vocational discernment was not the deck of a carrier. My family and parish provided the terra firma from which God’s Spirit has taken me for a ride. That ‘ride’ has at times encountered some turbulence, like a pandemic, but it is a wonder-filled adventure the likes of which I could never had imagined. I thank God every day for the vocation with which I have been gifted.

I believe that our youth today are especially eager for adventures, to embrace a vocation that offers real challenges, promises excitement and lifts them beyond what the earth has to offer. We know that a person’s response to serve the Lord in a Church vocation takes more than slick recruitment activity on our part. It is a heavenly encounter. However, each of us has a responsibility to encourage and promote Church vocations from our own families and parishes – the solid ground from which Church vocations grow.

Each of our seminarians is a wonderful blessing to the Church. Continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Like students everywhere these days, the pandemic is presenting many unwanted challenges for them and for seminary life. Their faith, enthusiasm and fraternal support for each other bodes well for the Church of Ogdensburg in the future.

The Diocese of Ogdensburg is blessed and inspired by the presence and ministry of several men and consecrated women not native to the North Country. I thank God for their presence among us. National Vocations Awareness Week provides us an opportunity to reflect on how well we are preparing the soil for Church vocations from our homes. You know that one of our Diocesan Priorities is to Create a Culture of Vocations. I encourage all our parishioners to consciously create the solid ground from which vocations might take root and grow here in our own backyard.

Through personal prayer, public worship, personal invitation and creative activities, we must be intentional in our vocational promotion. Thank you for your support and participation in your parish’s vocation committee. I am grateful to Father Chris Carrara, Director of Vocations and Seminarians and Catherine Russell, Diocesan Vocation Coordinator, for their tireless efforts in vocation promotion. They are eager to support our family and parish’s efforts to create a vocational launching pad with our sights set on the heavens with our feet firmly planted on the ground.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.