November 1-7, 2020 is National Vocation Awareness Week, when the entire U.S. Church is focusing on vocations – specifically on encouraging young Catholics to seriously consider the priesthood and religious life.
The Church needs more priests and sisters and each of us has a role to play by talking to our children and grandchildren. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In healthy, normal conversations about the future, we need to encourage boys and girls in our families to remain genuinely open to a vocation in the Church.
Invite young people. When we see teens and young adults in our parishes, encourage them! Do not be afraid to say, “I think you’d make a great priest/sister if God were calling you!” Even if they are not called, it is a compliment to their faith – one they will never forget.
Aside from our decision to follow Jesus, our vocation is life’s most important decision. Whether we are called to serve God through the priesthood, religious life, marriage, or single life, we must act when the time comes. Move in the direction your heart tells you, confident that God will never send you where his grace cannot sustain you.
Currently, the Diocese of Venice is training and supporting 16 seminarians to be the priests and pastors of tomorrow and annually spends more than $1.1 Million to cover the costs related to Vocations and Clergy Formation. To help address this expense, the Timothy Fund was created with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida. The fund is named after St. Paul’s disciple who eventually became the first Bishop of Ephesus.
The Timothy Fund is an endowed fund that is designed to last in perpetuity by investing the principal and using the earnings to make annual distributions to the Diocese of Venice is support of seminarian education. The fund is a perpetual gift to the people of the Diocese for the future of our Church.
You already know the joy that comes from sharing with the less fortunate. Think about the joy that will be yours when you know you have created a legacy that will provide priests to the Diocese forever. You will share in the blessings of all the lives they touch because you made it possible.
If you, or someone you know, are discerning your vocation to the priesthood or religious life, please
contact the Diocese of Venice Office of Vocations. Please also consider these three tips from Vianney Vocations for figuring out your call:
- Find good information. Dig into the books, websites, and videos that present a clear Catholic view.
- Seek Guidance. Get help from a priest, deacon, or sister you trust. Do not discern alone.
- Pray Consistently. Seek the sacraments and pray daily to know God’s plan for you. Be patient and give it time. In His will is your peace.
If you are interested in learning more about supporting the future of our Church through the Timothy Fund, or establishing your own named fund, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.