Vocation Discernment


Jesus is Calling You!

The good news is that God has plans for us! Our interests and talents can lead us to the life that God has planned for us.

Sometimes we ask children the wrong question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” A better question is, “What did God create you to be?” In short, the answer is A SAINT! We were created to show forth the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27). We are not just good in God’s eyes, but very good! We have the capacity to know, love and serve God and—by His saving grace—to be happy with Him forever in Heaven. Part of God’s plan for us is our work (hobbies & job occupations), and we need to prayerfully discern that call by listening to our hearts as well as the advice of trusted friends and family members.

Another way in which we live out our baptismal call to holiness is by our state in life.  We may actively seek to build up God’s Kingdom in the world as a layperson, either single or married.  Or we may be called to dedicate our lives to Christ as clergy (deacons, priests or bishops of either diocesan ministry or religious orders) or consecrated men or women (monks, contemplatives, hermits, consecrated virgins, members of secular institutes, etc.).  A helpful visual image of the array of possible vocations can be found at the Vocation Tree website.

Discerning our state in life requires prayer, attentive listening to our holy desires and willingness to listen to the wisdom of those who know us well.  Plus, a little research doesn’t hurt either.  It is hard to come to love something which you don’t know or understand. So here are a few web resources to consider:

  • The vocation of the laity can be lived out when one is single (as St. Paul spoke about dedication to the Lord in I Cor. 7:32-35) or through marriage and family life.  The USCCB is the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, and the USCCB website has a number of vocational pages (see below).
  • For Your Marriage – resources and support for Catholic dating, marriage and parenting.
  • Diocese of Lansing Vocation’s Page – There are some excellent resources here for married, consecrated or ordained life: lists of the men’s and women’s religious communities within our diocese (with web links), information on the permanent diaconate, priesthood discernment questions, vocations stories, and information on the seminaries used by the Lansing Diocese, etc.
  • Catholic Religious Vocation Network – The “Vocation Match” tool is fun to try!
  • A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women – Search an index of religious communities, prayer centers and retreat houses across America.
  • US Association of Consecrated Virgins – The Lansing Diocese has a significant number of women who live in the world as consecrated virgins.  Learn more about this ancient order of the church and how it is lived today.
  • US Conference of Secular Institutes – There is more to religious life than just being a monk or a nun behind closed doors.  The Catholic Church in America has seen a rise in secular institutes where people can live a life consecrated to God and still be active in public life, working in the world so as to shine the Light of Christ to all in need.
  • Lay Religious Life / About Third Orders – There is a way as a lay person to share in the benefits of a religious order’s spirituality without having to enter fully into religious life.  Third Orders are lay associations of the faithful that support a specific religious order and its spirituality.

Diocese of Lansing Vocation Resources

If you or someone you know wants more information about discerning a call to priesthood or religious life, here are some resources available through the Diocese of Lansing.

• This on-line vocation booklet tells the discernment stories of several of our Lansing priests, including Fr. Gordon. Priestly Vocation Stories

• What devotions are helpful to one’s vocation discernment (ASK – SEEK – FIND)? Discernment Prayer Book

• What’s going on in terms of Vocation events? What are the coming retreats/group activities? [Including: The Foundation – Men’s Priesthood Discernment Group (ages 18+); Jeremiah 1:7 – Men’s Priesthood Discernment Group (high school age); the Nun Run – annual convent visits and more]

Bishop’s Discernment Dinner in August (call the parish office if interested in attending)

Resource Page to Build a Culture of Vocations – vocation catechetical lessons, videos, prayer services and more.

St. Robert Bellarmine Parish Vocation Activities

St. Robert Parish seeks to promote the discernment of vocations to marriage, priesthood and religious / consecrated life. Here are some events and activities to seek out during the calendar year. As the event dates vary from year to year, please consult the bulletin, parish office, or social-media for details.

Knights of Columbus – Holy Hour for Vocations / Children’s Rosary – 1st Thursday
of the Month at 7pm (pizza dinner at 6pm in Angel Hall)

April – World Day of Prayer for Vocations

• October – Priesthood Sunday & Marriage Anniversary Celebration

• November – National Vocations Awareness Week

• Vocation Crucifix Program – take this crucifix home & pray for
vocations for a week.

• Called & Gifted Program – discern your charisms so as to serve God more fully

• Welcome Retreats – learn the power of sharing your faith and renew your spirit