Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This week is National Vocation Awareness Week in the United States. This annual event is a special time for parishes in the U.S. to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.
Pope Francis, in his homily at the final Mass of the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow, encouraged the youth of the world to open their hearts to Jesus. “Don’t be afraid to say ‘yes’ to him with all your heart, to respond generously and to follow him!” said Pope Francis. “Don’t let your soul grow numb, but aim for the goal of a beautiful love which also demands sacrifice.”
National Vocations Awareness Week, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, is designed to help promote vocation awareness and to encourage young people to ask the question: “To what vocation in life is God calling me?” Parish and school communities across the nation are encouraged to include, during the first week in November, prayer and special activities that focus on vocation awareness.
This past month, we celebrated vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Phoenix and St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale. On the Feast of the Guardian Angels, October 2, we had a Vocations Fair inviting the children to come as Angels to celebrate at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Phoenix with Religious from the various Religious Communities in the Diocese.
Celebrando la Vida Consagrada was a wonderful celebration for all who attended. Here are some photos I would like to share with you, memories to cherish:
On Sunday, October 30th at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale we had another Vocation Celebration with Bishop Thomas Olmsted and 15 Religious Communities who live and serve in the Diocese of Phoenix. What a blessing it was for all who came! What a great way to prepare for National Vocations Awareness.
Fr. Jim Blantz, C.S.C. (a Holy Cross Father) came from LA to do a Magic Show!
The children were mesmerized by his tricks.
It was a beautiful, sunny day in Phoenix filled with graces and blessings for all the families, children, Religious, Priests and Deacons who participated. Thanks be to God, who calls each of us to serve Him, love Him and be loved by Him for eternity.
There is nothing better than saying, “Yes” to God’s will for your life for the salvation of souls and the building up of His Bride, the Church.
God bless you!
Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM
Director of the Office of Consecrated Life for the Diocese of Phoenix