Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Mt 9:37-38).
National Vocations Awareness Week begins this weekend (November 5-11). The word “vocation” comes from the Latin word vocare, which means, “to call.” For the Church, a vocation is a calling from God, and this week we highlight vocations of the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life.
Here at Saint Martin’s, I have encountered an abundant harvest of young people – from 2nd graders through twenty-year-old’s – who have expressed their desire to explore the priesthood or religious life. For example, a young boy came up to me after Mass and asked, “Fr. Patrick, can you give me your blessing as I begin my journey to be a priest?” How does your heart not surge with joy at such a request? Or, take the example of a girl from our school who dressed up as Sr. Providencia last Halloween. Not to mention the five young men and women from our parish who attended a vocations retreat last September.
It has been on my heart for some time to intentionally foster a culture of vocations here at Saint Martin’s. With this said, I am very excited to share the various vocations initiatives we will begin at our parish during National Vocations Awareness Week:
Vocations Kiosk: At the main entrance (on Summit Avenue), a new vocations kiosk has been installed with brochures, booklets, prayer cards, and other information about vocations. There are many resources in English and Spanish about discernment, praying for vocations, and even material for parents of children who have expressed a desire to discern a vocation. This beautiful kiosk was custom made for us by parishioner Douglas Barrera, and I cannot express my gratitude for his hard work in constructing this beautiful piece!
Vocation Chalice Program: At the 7pm Spanish Vigil, 9am English, 10:30am Spanish, and 12 noon Spanish Masses, we will present a Vocation Chalice to a family who will welcome it into their home and commit to praying a Rosary for vocations for two weeks, before being passed on to another family.
Prayer for Vocations: A “Prayer for Vocations” will be offered after the Saint Michael Prayer after the 9am daily Mass going forward.
Fundraising: In addition to prayers, we are asking for your financial support. We welcome donations to help defray costs associated with the kiosk and brochures, to cover fees so our young people can attend vocations events (e.g, retreats) without any financial obstacles, to help cover costs for parishlevel vocation events, etc. Please pick up an envelope from the church labeled “Donation for Vocations” and drop it in the basket at offertory at any time, bring to the Parish Office, or mail back. You can also donate online anytime via FaithDirect using this QR code.
Vocations Ministry: If you would like to join our new Vocations Ministry, please contact coordinator Rosa Majano at firstname.lastname@example.org or see me. The group meets the second Thursday of every month from 7:30pm – 8:30pm in the school.
I love being a priest, and after three years of priesthood, I can honestly say I love being a priest more today than on the day of my ordination. I am really on fire about this project because I want more young people to experience the profound joy I get to experience every single day.
P.S. As we pray for more vocations, please join us for a “Holy Hour for Vocations” with Eucharistic Adoration on Monday, November 6 at 7pm in the church.