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Creating a culture of vocations

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

November 8, 2023

National Vocations Awareness Week begins Sunday, November 5. This provides us with a good opportunity to review our efforts to encourage and promote Church vocations from our own families and parishes – the solid ground from which Church vocations grow in our North Country.

We continue to address our Diocesan Priority of Creating a Culture of Vocations in our Diocese. During the month of October, our Vocations Office coordinated three Andrew Dinners that took place at St. Alexander’s in Morrisonville, the Church of the Visitation in Norfolk, and St. James Church in Carthage.

We refer to these gatherings as Andrew Dinners because we remember that St. Andrew, the Apostle, was one of the very first evangelists of our faith. St. Andrew heard John the Baptist preach and he immediately followed Jesus. But, first, “he found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah.’ Then he brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:40-42) From his own family, Andrew invited his brother to meet the Lord.

Young high school and college men and their parents gathered to meet the Eucharistic Lord at a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. This was followed by a delicious meal and personal vocation reflections offered by some of our priests and parents of seminarians. I am grateful to Father Scott Seymour, Father Kris Lauzon and Father Todd Thibault and their parish staff for the warm welcome and tasty meals their parishes provided.

I am grateful to Father Chris Carrara, Director of Vocations and Seminarians, Father Matthew Conger, Associate Director, and Sister Mary Eamon Lyng, SSJ, Diocesan Vocations Coordinator for their ministry. They are eager to support our family and parish’s efforts to create local vocational launching pads.

We know that it is essential that personal prayer, public worship, personal invitation (like Andrew), and creative activities be part of our vocational promotion.   

Each of our seminarians is a wonderful blessing to the Church. Continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Their faith, enthusiasm and brotherly support for each other is so inspiring and causes us to be truly hope-filled.

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