Most of the readers of this magazine spend their days on the ordinary stuff of life, keeping busy with the duties of home and family, work and community involvement. Some may have a ministry or volunteer project in their parish community, but for many, getting themselves and their families to Mass regularly is as much as they can manage in the participation of their faith right now. 

For these folks, the idea of “vocation” might be seen as what a priest, deacon or religious sister or brother pursue. It isn’t every day that they take a pause in their busy lives to recall their own vocation, their own part of God’s plan. Many have known, but may not have recently thought about their own mission on this earth, the call to holiness that each of us has been asked to accept.

With November’s arrival of National Vocation Awareness Week, and our annual coverage of the Bishop’s Anniversary Blessings for married couples, we are dedicating our IN FOCUS package to the subject of Vocations, and its importance in the life of every believer. 

We hope that this special coverage and the insight shared by many of our leaders, beginning with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will help to inspire our readers to pray for men and women to step forward as priests, deacons and religious sisters and brothers. But just as importantly, we hope that this package spurs every reader to consider their own vocation and commit themselves each day to the life they have chosen in service to God.

We also want to thank the readers who responded to the survey questions that we posted last month on the subject of Vocations. As a first-time survey, we didn’t have a lot of responses. But what we did receive was interesting and insightful for us in our preparation of this special coverage. 

Here are some of the top responses submitted:

Qualities important for a priest to possess?: 1) Communicates well/connects and listens to parishioners; 2) Kind; 3) Christ-like; 4) Humility, and 5) Fidelity to the Church and boldness in preaching its truth/doctrine.

A good suggestion that came in about telling a man that he might make a good priest was to encourage that person when he exhibits priestly qualities.

As members of the laity, respondents shared that they live their vocation in the following ways: 1) Participating in liturgical ministries, i.e. extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, Choir, Reader; 2) Commitment to daily prayer; 3) Active in parish ministries, i.e. youth group, Religious Ed, RCIA, Scouting; 4) Frequenting the Sacraments, esp. attending Mass.

We’ll have a survey each month, and encourage readers to participate. In this way, you really will have a part in how The Monitor Magazine covers important topics going forward.