National Vocation Awareness Week: Nov. 1-7

National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.  

Read about what "vocation" means to some of our sisters ... 

Sister Roberta Houlihan
After 70 years in community,  "VOCATION," for me, is a God-Given Gift that has been transforming for me, sometimes unknowingly, through the wise guidance of our leaders, to the place where I find I am standing today.  TRANSFORMED, yet still in need of more transformation into "I know not what."  It excites me as I think that there are so very many possibilities that we, as Sisters of St. Joseph, could, together, become.  "TOGETHER WE ARE MORE."   

Sister Rita Marie Schmitz
Vocation for me is an invitation from God.  For each of us it is a response to our baptismal call to be faithful to our God.  Whether the call is to a single life, to married life, to religious life, we are supportive of one another on our journeys.  The transformative piece for me has been God’s faithfulness!  Being so loved by God, I am challenged each day to love more deeply, to live fully my vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  Being open and present to those I serve is also transformative.  My prayer is to be a woman of integrity, and with God’s grace to be faithful to my “yes.” 

Sister Clare Bass
To me vocation means finding that place, those people and the lifestyle that gives you the feeling like you are "exactly where you are supposed to be."  It is also the lifestyle that is most life-giving to you. It's the journey of a life-time. It does not happen overnight. Finding my vocation took prayer, trust, love,  energy, time, and continual discernment. I found my vocation as a Sister of St. Joseph and have been transformed by love ever since. Now as a temporary professed sister of St. Joseph, being my vocation takes just as much prayer, trust, love,  energy, time, and discernment because life is ever-evolving.  I am grateful to be "exactly where I am supposed to be!" 

Sister Becky Holley
Vocation is a word that inspires me! It is that call from God to live the life that allows me to be who I am meant to be. As a vowed woman religious I can be fully the person God created me to be. Growing up I just knew that my vocation would be to married life. But God had another vocation in mind for me, religious life.

As I have lived many years in community I thank God for this call to vowed life as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. At one point I felt I was not good enough to belong to such a community but God daily says, 'Be yourself, I knew what I was doing!' So I accept God's constant call to live life as a vowed woman religious.

Please join us as we pray for all women and men in the vocation process. We offer three prayers for your consideration.

  1. Prayer for Consecrated Life
    by Sister Marianne Keena, CSJ

    Loving God You abundantly grace us. We thank You for the gift of our lives and your daily call to love, serve and build your kingdom. We give thanks for the many men and women who have responded to the call to live their Baptismal commitment as consecrated men and women. Enflame the hearts of more men and women to respond with a generous Yes!  

  2. Loving and Generous God, it is You who call us by name and ask us to follow You.  Help us to grow in the Love and Service of our Church as we experience it today.

    Give us the energy and courage of Your Spirit to shape its future

    Grant us faith-filled leaders who will embrace Christ's Mission of love and justice.

    Bless our church by raising up dedicated and generous leaders from our families and friends who will serve Your people as Sisters, Priests, Brothers, Deacons and Lay Ministers.

    Inspire us to know You better and open our hearts to hear Your call.  We ask this through our generous and loving God.

  3. Gracious God, You have called me to life and gifted me in many ways. Through Baptism You have sent me to continue the mission of Jesus by sharing my love with others. Strengthen me to respond to Your call each day. Help me to become all You desire of me. Inspire me to make a difference in others' lives. Lead me to choose the way of life you have planned for me. Open the hearts of all to listen to Your call. Fill all with Your Holy Spirit that we may have listening hearts and the courage to respond to You. Enkindle in my heart and the hearts of others the desire to make the world a better place by serving as lay minister, sister, priest, brother or deacon. Amen.

Are you searching for the next step in your life journey? How will you join this movement of God's great love?

Click here to learn more about being a part of the Sisters of St. Joseph community whether it be as a sister, associate, prayer partner, discerner or supporter. 

From Sister Linda Markway, CSJ, vocation minister for the Sisters of St. Joseph

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