National Vocation Awareness Week, celebrated November 1-7, 2020, is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States. Its purpose is to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education. It’s also a call to renew prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.
Father Jeff Bowker, V.F., director of seminarian formation, and Father Jim Magee, promoter of vocations, say that the Office of Vocations cultivates a culture of prayer for vocations to help qualified men and women hear the call of God.
“There is no new secret to vocations; it is the same as when Jesus invited the first disciples,” said Father Magee. “It is about an invitation to a deeply personal relationship with the Lord, a relationship that will change their lives.”
Women religious serving in the Diocese of Raleigh have a new landing page with a directory of congregations and sisters currently serving in the diocese. The page also includes expressions of religious life, what women religious are doing and history of sisters in the diocese.
Since the ordination of 15 men to the permanent diaconate in June 2020, a new cohort is scheduled to start in September 2021. Over 90 men have attended information sessions. Once enquirers have been accepted, they will begin a five-year formation period.
The diocese has 20 seminarians enrolled in priestly formation this year in five different schools. Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama says having seminarians attending different schools throughout the country helps them to see diverse formations and bring the differences back to the service of the diocese.
In a video message to the faithful, Bishop Luis said, “Never be afraid to answer to the Lord, because he will give you what you need to answer. Be silent, listen to your heart and see what the Lord is calling you to in your life. I pray that in the diocese we will have more vocations and healthy, happy, joyful seminarians and priests willing to serve the lord. Make time to answer the Lord’s call!