On September 5th the Vocation Committee at St. Cecilia’s Parish in Beaverton hosted their annual Retired Priest and Current Seminarian Mass and Dinner. For several years St. Cecilia’s has hosted this event as a way to build a “culture of vocations” in their own parish community. Events such as this are very important in the life of the Church because they bring the faithful in our parishes in direct contact with our priests and seminarians. This allows for a true encounter where both can be known and appreciated on a deeper level. During this event our retired priests were acknowledged for their years of dedicated service to the Church, our seminarians, both new and old, were encouraged in their resolve to say “Yes” to the Lord and lay down their life after His example, and our lay faithful were renewed in their commitment to pray for vocations as well as foster them within their own families.
This year the Vocation Committee at St. Cecilia’s Parish added a unique component to the event – parish altar servers (boys and girls) and their families were invited to sit with our seminarians and guests for dinner. It was a great way for our youth to interact with our seminarians. It provided a friendly and comfortable environment where the youth (and parents) could ask questions about the priesthood and religious life.
Archbishop Sample graced us with his presence as the main celebrant at Mass and joined us for dinner with his mother and sister. The seminarians covered most of the ministries during Mass, such as servers, lectors, gift bearers and cantors. It was a great opportunity for the seminarians to gather around their archbishop and attend to him as he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Part of my job as Director of Vocations is to put the archbishop in situations like these where he is present to his priests, available to his seminarians, and in the midst the faithful he shepherds each and every day. The more we encounter one another in events like these, the more we are able to live in communio and really make a difference in fostering vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Now is a good time to ask yourself, “What is my Vocations Committee doing to promote vocations in my parish?” If you need assistance do not hesitate to contact the Office of Vocations.
Please pray for vocations!
Director of Vocations
Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon