It’s the end of National Vocation Awareness week, and I hope that everyone this week has looked at their own life, and seen where they believe God is calling them. Also, I hope that you have encouraged others to think about their vocation. I know that I started to think about the priesthood when I was in second grade and always had it in the back of my mind. However, if I did not have people encouraging me throughout the years, I’m not sure that I would have had the courage or strength to actually go and check out the seminary. Some of the people that helped out were family members and friends, but there were many other people, that would just ask if I had thought about the priesthood, including someone famous.
When I was in high school, I worked at United Hospital in St. Paul at the reception desk for the medicine care center. I had the habit of asking any priest that I saw what their name was and also what parish they served. One Saturday afternoon someone came up to me wearing clerics asking where a certain patient’s room was. So, once I gave him the information, I asked the man who I assumed was a priest, what his name was and where he served. He responded that he was Archbishop Harry Flynn and that he was the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Now, of course I should have known this, seeing as he was the one who confirmed me and I even knew what he looked like, but I just did not expect to see him at the hospital. After being thoroughly embarrassed I told him that it was great to see him and to have a nice day and away he went. However, after he was done visiting the patient he walked by again and asked me what my name was and what parish I was at. I told him my name and that my family belonged to St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul. Archbishop Flynn responded that he was glad to meet me, and then he just asked me, point-blank, if I had thought about the priesthood. I told him that I had, and he said that was good and then assured me of his prayers. Now, this was not the only time someone had asked me about the priesthood, but it sure made me think about it a little more.
So, what’s the main point behind this? If you think that someone is called to the priesthood or to become a sister, don’t be afraid to ask them if they have thought about it. It’s never hard to tell someone that they would make a good mother or a father, but for some reason we have a hard time saying this when it comes to other vocations. Don’t hold back, you never know, it may help that person explore their vocation even more, which we are all called to do. Also, here is a link to the Archdiocesan vocation page, please check it out.