VOCATIONS AND SAINTS 
                                                 " If we really want to love, 
we must learn to forgive."

                                                                                                                                                   
    (Blessed Mother Theresa)

                                                                 "MY VOCATION IS LOVE!"    ♥ 
               
                                                                              "O Jesus, my love, my vocation, at last I have found it.
                                                               My vocation is LOVE!”
St. Therese -
 Patron Saint of Vocations
                                            
                                                                  
 
        
I feel that my mission is soon to begin: my mission to make others love the good God as I love Him...to give to souls my little way of trust and self surrender...words of St. Therese -July 17,1897,a few months before her death.

                  "After My Death,IWill Let Fall a Shower Of Roses"
                  "I Will Spend My Heaven Doing Good Upon Earth"
                                                                                                                               PRAYERS FOR VOCATIONS                    
                                                                                                              
NEEDED MORE THAN EVER, SAYS POPE JOHN PAUL


                                                                                              Story of a Soul        

                                                                              MOVIE In Theaters October - 1 - 2004
           VERY GOOD MOVIE  __  CHECK  IT  OUT  TODAY  ---  EVEN TODAY

 
        

               
                                                          VOCATIONS IN CHRIST   -   "HERE I AM, LORD"       
Vocation comes from the Latin verb "vocare", meaning to "call." The definition of vocation is explained in  the glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the calling or destiny we have in life and hereafter. God has created the human person to love and serve Him; the fulfillment of this vocation is eternal happiness. Christ calls the faithful to the perfection of holiness. The vocation of the laity consists in seeking God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them to God's will. Priestly and religious vocations are dedicated to the service of the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation.  -------   www.cuf.org

                                                                                
Faith Facts: www.cuf.org
 All people are called to communion with God, by accepting the ordinary means of baptism. This is usually called the universal call to holiness. Vatican II emphasized the vocation of the laity in the life of the Church, with the understanding that the laity are also called by God to build up His Church. He calls together all humankind, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of His family, the Church. Nonetheless the term "vocation" is often applied to vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Among the variety of vocations that are proper to lay people, marriage is the state of life which most Christians are called.  Accordingly, the family -- husband wife, and children are the basic cell of society and as the domestic Church, of the Body of Christ. Christ elevated marriage to the level of a sacrament (cf. Eph.5:32). The call to the Sacrament of Matrimony comes " from the Lord " (cf. C.C.C.1620)   

Fostering Vocations in The Family:                
To make Christ known, first of all in our own hearts. 
Families are truly the "incubators" of vocations, as well as the parish that provide a faithful, nurturing environment for young people, make the greatest contribution in this are. All Catholics have a duty not only to respond to their own vocation, but also to foster vocations in the Church, primarily by praying to the Lord of the harvest, begging him to send laborers to serve His people. Pope John Paul II emphasizes the importance of the role of parents have, being the first heralds of faith with regard to their children. He also says the mission of the Church is to evangelize-- to make Christ known and loved first in our own hearts, but also by all people in this great work, all Catholics have a vital role to play.

ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS - Apostolic Letter of John Paul II                               
On Preserving Ordination To Men Alone -   ( Excerpts )  Pope John Paul refers to the dignity and  vocation of women.  " In calling only men as his Apostles, Christ acted in a complete free and sovereign manner.  In doing so, he exercised the same freedom with which, in all his behavior, he emphasized the dignity and the vocation of women, without conforming to the prevailing customs to the traditions sanctioned by the legislation of the time." In fact the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles attest that this call was made in accordance with God's eternal plan; Christ choose those whom he willed (cf.Mk 3:13-14; Jn 6:70), and did so in union with the Father, "through the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1: 2), after having spent the night in prayer (cf.Lk 6; 12).

"They are the Holy martyrs, virgins and mothers of families, who bravely bore witness to their faith and passed on the Church's faith and tradition by bringing up their children in the spirit of the Gospel"              

Wherefore in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of conforming the brethren (cf Lk. 22:32 ). I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful. May 22, 1994.

 Women's Vocation Tied to Love, Says John Paul II                
Believes Their Genius Assures a Sensitivity for All People
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 16, 2004 (Zenit.org) (Ecerpts)- In an age when women participate more in areas of public life it is important  that they have a keen awareness of their fundamental vocation: to fulfill themselves through love, says John Paul II.

"It is important that woman keep alive the awareness of this fundamental vocation," the Holy Father said. "She fulfills herself   only by giving love, with her singular 'genius' that assures sensitivity" for human beings in all circumstances.

Indeed, "the moral and spiritual strength" of woman "springs from the awareness that 'God entrusts the human being to her in a special way,'  the Holy Father stressed, quoting his apostolic letter  "Mulieris Dignitatem."   This is above all the mission of every woman also in the third millennium, the Pope added.

"Live it fully and do not be discouraged by the difficulties and obstacles that you may meet on the way," he said to those present. "On the contrary, always trusting in divine help, realize it with joy, expressing the feminine 'genius' that characterizes you."  Finally, John Paul II appealed to women "to witness in every place the Gospel of life and hope."
 
 Swiss Bishops Reject Call for Women's Ordination
Lucerne Synod Went Too Far, Says Conference            

BERNE, Switzerland, MARCH 31, 2004 (Zenit.org).- (Ecerpts) The Swiss bishops' conference rejected requests by the Catholic Synod of Lucerne which favors the ordination of women and the abolition of obligatory priestly celibacy.

The decision corresponds to the universal Church, the bishops' conference wrote in reference to both cases, while it imposed disciplinary sanctions on the synod for going beyond its prerogatives with these requests. The Swiss bishops confirmed in their five-page statement that recent Popes, among them John Paul II, have given eminent significance to celibacy.

The question of the ordination of women is very different, the bishops noted. The Church and the Pope have no authority to introduce this change, as it would be opposed to the intentions of Jesus himself, the bishops said. The bishops stressed that not even men have a right to priestly ordination. Thus, the issue of women's ordination cannot be reduced to a question of equality of opportunities or human rights, they observed.

The bishops' documents cast doubt on the justness of the proposals of the Lucerne Synod, as "they do not affect the care of souls but the practice of the faith of the worldwide Church."

According to the bishops' conference, Paula Beck, author of the initiative promoted by the synod, has been the cause of   schismatic conduct and has committed a serious infraction of the constitution of the local Church. She has exhorted the ecclesial communities to "go against the bishops."

The bishops' conference has asked the synod to explain Beck's public positions.                                                           
 
OUR VOCATION TO BEATITUDE 
(
Beatitude:  perfect blessedness - happiness
or blessings) C.C.C.#1716   The beatitudes are the heart of Jesus' preaching.  They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham. The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possessions of a territory, but to the Kingdom of  heaven:   Matthew 5: 1-10

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you false on my account.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.  

Matthew 5:  23: 24:  Therefore, if you bring your gifts to the altar, and recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gifts there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 Mount of Beatitudes:  Pope John Paul Notes Dedication of Chapel 
Message Recalls His Jubilee Pilgrimage to Holy Land

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 19, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The dedication rite of a chapel on the Mount of the Beatitudes gave John Paul II the chance to recall his 2000 pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On Jan. 11, the chapel of the Domus Galilaeae International Center was dedicated in Tiberias, Israel. It was the occasion for the Pope to recall "with emotion" his Jubilee trip to this place, "not far from where Jesus  performed the first multiplication of loaves."

The Holy Father states this in his message, published Saturday by the Vatican press office, to Latin-rite Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem, who presided at the solemn dedication of the chapel on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus.  Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio in Israel, joined Father Giovanni Battistelli, Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land, and bishops and superiors of religious communities, as well as professors and representatives of ecclesial movements at the event.  They all attended the dedication together  with the founders of the Neocatechumenal Way -- Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernández and Father Mario Pezzi -- which is the promoter of Domus Galilaeae. 
 ( Article below is an explanation as to what is meant by  Neocatechumenal Way.)    ( R.T.M )

The dedication took place in the context of a meeting of 250 "itinerants"of the Neocatechumenal Way. The Holy Father greeted them all, wishing that "this important event" will encourage them "to renew their own adherence to Christ, redeemer of the world."

"May the Virgin of Nazareth, Mother of the Church and Star of the New Evangelization, guide the way of believers in the Holy Land and obtain for them the gift of ever more courageous fidelity to the Gospel," he said. Domus Galilaeae is a center of formation, primarily for priests and seminarians; of study; and of hospitality for pilgrims. See www.domusgalilaeae.org.
 ( Pictures and more information can be viewed, ( including the homily of Pope John Paul II,) on March 25th. 2000)

The Pope says Mass at the Sea of Galilee.  Presented below is a brief summary of the homily by John Paul II    (Ed: R.T.M)
 His sermon echoed across the sloping hill identified as the "mountain plateau" above the lake on which, St Matthew and St Luke both say, Jesus delivered his sermon.

ON THE MOUNT OF BEATITUDES by Richard Owen:   The Pope warns the young against new Beatitudes March 25, 2000.  Speaking at the site of the Sermon on the Mount The Pope told the young people that together with the Ten Commandments handed down on Mount Sinai - the Beatitudes offered  "a roadmap for the Christian  life". He said that to many it seemed strange that Jesus had said "Blessed are the meek, the persecuted and the poor in spirit", because he seemed to be saying "Blessed are the losers". He continued, saying that young people must be tempted by an alternative version in a world "where the violent often triumph and the devious seem to succeed". The pontiff said that modern "counter Beatitudes" might include "Blessed are the proud and violent, those who prosper at any cost, those who are unscrupulous, pitiless devious, those who make war not peace, and those who persecute those who stand in their way. Yes, says the voice of evil, they are the ones who win. Happy are they!" But like the first disciples they had to heed Jesus' call for a choice between "good and evil,  life and death" and to believe what he said, "no matter how strange it may seem".   He then refers to Christ's Beatitudes and gives examples of what he called Modern Beatitudes.

Christ's   Beatitudes                                                                                                   
          
St Matthew 5: 1- 10                          

Blessed are the poor in spirit.      Blessed are they that mourn.

Blessed are the meek .               Blessed are those who hunger
                                                after righteousness.

Blessed are the merciful.            Blessed are the pure in heart.

Blessed are the peacemakers.     Blessed are the persecuted.
 

Modern     (counter)    Beatitudes                        
Referred to by Pope John Paul II as being choices of the modern world
 which might include:  

Blessed are the proud.                Blessed are the violent.

Blessed are those who                Blessed are the unscrupulous.
prosper at any cost.            

Blessed are the pitiless.               Blessed are the devious
                                                                                               

Blessed are those who fight.        Blessed are the persecutors.



www.domusgalilaeae.org.   Information on the Neocatechumenal Way  “Catechumenate” comes from the word catecheo, which means “to make resound” and in the passive voice “to listen”.     “…behold the answer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to this dramatic challenge at the end of the millennium.  You are this providential response”. John Paul II, Pentecost 1998 

Today’s process of secularization has led many people to abandon the faith and the Church, or to live their faith at a very superficial level.  Catechesi Tradendae also affirms that the situation of many Christians in the parishes, is that of "quasi-catechumens”.    Because of this, an itinerary of formation to Christianity must be re-opened. Today, many dioceses are trying to begin an itinerary of catecheses for adults.

The Pope has recognized the validity of the Neo-Catechumenal Way after 35 years of an experience that began in one of the poorest outskirts the Madrid. Today it is extended to eight hundred dioceses, six thousand parishes, one hundred and five nations, and seventeen thousand communities

The Holy Father in his letter 'Ogniqualvolta' (1990) recognizes the Neocatechumenal way as  'as an itinerary of catholic formation valid for our society and our times.'   He expresses his desire that bishops may value and support this instrument for the New Evangelization, so that it may be implemented according to the guidelines proposed by its initiators.

The Holy Father thus offers to the diocese a concrete instrument of evangelization without transforming this itinerary into a religious order, neither into a particular association nor a movement. Repeatedly in the history of the church the saints have tried to make the spirit of the Gospel re-lived in the people of God, without enclosing it within a religious order. The times were not mature. Today, after the second Vatican Council, the contemporary situation of atheism and secularization, places the Church into a position where the reinstatement of the catechumenate is a necessity. 

This itinerary offers to the dioceses an instrument to evangelize which can, as the Holy Father said on the April 12,1993:   answer to the challenge of secularization, the spread of sects, and the lack of vocations. The reflection on the word of God and the participation in the Eucharist make it possible for a gradual initiation into the sacred mysteries. The formation of living cells in the Church and the renewal of the vitality of the parishes is possible through mature Christians able to give witness to the truth through a faith radically lived.

Once the post baptismal itinerary of Christian initiation ends, the community enters into a process of permanent education  of faith, as required by the General Directory for Catecheses[2]:    «“that they may all be one; as you Father are in me and I   in you, may they also be one in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me”[3] this prayer of Jesus in front of the father is a continuous call. To gradually come close to this ideal, requires within the community a greater faithfulness to the action of the Holy Spirit, a constant feeding on the Body and Blood of Christ, and the permanent education in the  faith through the listening of the Word.[4]»

‘ Your Way ’John Paul II said[5] -- draws from the spirit of the II Vatican Council to offer an example of evangelization which gives hope at the threshold of the third millennium.           
                                                                                  


VOCATION.COM      www.vocation.com,     

The Legionaries and the Regnum Christi Movement sponsor the site.


            
Hands that bring us Christ Campaign           



Adoration for Vocations to be Promoted Worldwide

ROME, JAN. 17, 2005 (Zenit.org).- In the Year of the Eucharist, Serra International and the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education are working to make it a year of adoration for vocations.

On Nov. 24, the two organizations launched the Worldwide Adoration for Vocations campaign in Rome, with John Paul II blessing six monstrances, which will be used to promote the effort in continents worldwide.

The U.S. bishops' conference officially launched the campaign in North America on Jan. 12 with Adoration for Vocations at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and concluding with Mass in the crypt.

On Jan. 3, Danny Gonzales, national director of the campaign, presented one of the monstrances blessed by the Pope to Father Edward Burns, executive director of the bishops' Secretariat for Priestly Formation and Vocations.

The bishops' conference plans to send the monstrance to various dioceses to promote Adoration for Vocations during the Year of the Eucharist.

Adoration for Vocations is a program that provides the tools and support needed to launch Eucharistic adoration groups in every locality. The program is designed to help faithful rediscover the gift of the Eucharist, while promoting vocations to the priesthood and all forms of consecrated life.

More information is posted at www.vocation.com.

Vocations Web Site Aims for 100,000 Hours of Adoration
NEW YORK, OCT. 8, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The faithful who participate in Eucharistic adoration for vocations can now register their hours online.

A vocations resource Web site, www.vocation.com, has recently begun offering its visitors the chance to register. Organizers have set a goal of logging 100,000 hours of adoration before Christmas, as a gift to John Paul II. The worldwide initiative has already attracted registrants from 17 countries.

The site also offers a range of resources to young people considering vocations and all Catholics interested in promoting and fostering vocations.

Legionary of Christ Father Anthony Bannon responds personally to the questions sent to the site. A selection of 350 questions and answers are available for browsing. The Legionaries and the Regnum Christi Movement sponsor the site.

Also available at the Web site are prayer resources, and vocation promotion materials for download. Browsers can subscribe to ShoreLines, a free newsletter on vocations.

 

PRAYERS FOR VOCATIONS NEEDED MORE THAN EVER, SAYS POPE  
                                                                                                                                                 

In Message to Rogationist Fathers VATICAN CITY, JULY 12, 2004 (Zenit.org).- In the era of the global village, it is more important than ever to pray for vocations to the consecrated life, says John Paul II.

The Pope made that point in a message to the general chapter of the Rogationist Fathers of the Heart of Jesus, being held following the May 16 canonization of their founder, St. Annibale Maria di Francia (1851-1927).

The congregation arose in 1926. Its charism is to live and propagate Jesus' command to pray for vocations, and to serve the poorest, especially in mission lands. The Rogationists now number 360 and work in several countries.

"This mission is more timely than ever at the beginning of the third millennium and it calls for good and industrious apostles, and you must be and want to be the first," the Holy Father said in his message.

"The global village into which the planet has been transformed, thanks to the network of communications and of political, economic and social interests often in conflict among themselves, registers a very urgent need of laborers of reconciliation, witnesses of the saving Truth, and builders of the one true and lasting peace, based on justice and forgiveness," the Pope explained.

"If we then look into the depth of hearts, the desire and expectation of life that comes from on High are revealed to be even more ample and profound," he continued.

"In the face of such great urgencies, our strength is unequal" to the task, the papal message acknowledged.

John Paul II said that "the bread of justice and peace can only come from on High: This is why the need found at the root of all needs is that of 'laborers' about whom Jesus speaks."

What is needed, the Pope said, are "men and women who spare no energy to transmit the Word of life to the world, calling hearts to conversion, offering the divine gift of Grace to build bridges of solidarity and conditions of justice, in which the full dignity of all human existence can be expressed."

"Prayer is the fertile root and indispensable nourishment of all action that intends to be effective for the Kingdom of God," he said. "By praying, laborers can be obtained from the Lord who will plow the field, sow the seed, watch over its growth, and harvest the fruit of ripe ears."

Anna Katharina Emmerick, Who Lived Her Own Passion
Pope Raises German Nun and Mystic to the Altar

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 3, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Anna Katharina Emmerick, the newly beatified Augustinian nun, endured long physical sufferings. Her reputation, too, suffered for years after her death.

Emmerick, whose writings inspired Mel Gibson in the making of "The Passion of the Christ," had nine siblings.

She was baptized on Sept. 8, 1774, the day of her birth in a modest farm in the village of Flamske, in Coesfeld, in the Diocese of Muenster, in what is now northwestern Germany.

By the time she was 4 years old, she had frequent visions of the history of salvation. In 1802, after many difficulties due to the family's poverty and opposition to her choice of the religious life, she joined the Canonesses Regular of St. Augustine, in the Agnetenberg convent in Duelmen.

She made her religious vows the following year. She participated in community life with great earnestness, although "the cloistered life was quite hard" because the other "canonesses did not fail to point out her low social status," according to the postulator of her cause of beatification, Andrea Ambrosi.

Moreover, the religious' health "began to decline rapidly," he told Vatican Radio.

"Ever since she was little she suffered from rickets which became so accentuated once she was in the convent, that she spent years in bed," Ambrosi said. In fact, the biography issued by the Holy See emphasizes the great pains Emmerick suffered.

When in 1811 the authorities suppressed the convent of Agnetenburg -- it had been influenced by secularism -- the future blessed was forced to leave the area.

Father Lambert, a French refugee priest living in Duelmen, took her in as a housekeeper. From 1813 onward, sickness immobilized her, so her younger sister Gertrude took her place as housekeeper.

"By the end of 1812, when supernatural gifts were already manifested in her, she had the added phenomenon" of "the appearance of the stigmata," postulator Ambrosi noted.

"At the beginning she did everything she could to hide them, but then her case became known and everyone wanted to see her, not only because of the stigmata, but because of her goodness and her gift to penetrate the souls that suffered most, those that were most lacerated, leading them to peace," Ambrosi said.

Last July, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, publicly read the decree of recognition of a miracle attributed to Emmerick's intercession.

"She bore the stigmata of the Lord's passion and received extraordinary charisms that she used to console numerous visitors," the cardinal said in the presence of John Paul II. "She carried out her great, fruitful apostolate from her bed."

From 1812 onward, Emmerick's only nourishment was the Eucharist. She had to endure three exhaustive investigations by the diocese, Napoleon Bonaparte's police, and the authorities.

During the last years of her life, she lived every day the preaching and passion of Jesus. She died on Feb. 9, 1824, consumed by her illnesses and penances.

Emmerick "lived perfectly attuned to the mystery of the life, passion and death of Jesus. Her stigmata is a very clear testimony of her existential union with Jesus," Ambrosi said on Vatican Radio. "Her willingness to suffer had no other motive than her love for the crucifix and concern for her neighbor."

Emmerick, who was forced from the cloister because of the Napoleonic invasion, was a stigmatized invalid. She tried to write in her Low German dialect the daily visions of the supernatural which she herself thought were indescribable.

On learning this, Clemens Brentano, a notable German writer, met the ex-nun, was converted, and remained at the foot of her sickbed writing down the visionary's accounts from 1818 to 1824.

The result of his work is "The Bitter Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." Brentano died before finishing the visions of the "Life of Mary." Subsequently, various specialists edited the "Diaries" and compiled, each in his own way, Emmerick's purported visions on the Church, the Old Testament, Jesus' public life and the nascent Church.

Shortly after the German mystic's death "her fame for sanctity was so alive among all the population and also the clergy" of the Muenster Diocese, that there was an intense "desire to promote her cause of beatification," postulator Ambrosi explained.

However, obstacles arose because of the difficult historical and religious times Germany was going through. There was also a lack of clarity in the nun's writings, some texts "bordering on the limit of 'orthodox' Catholicism," Ambrosi said.

The Holy Office intervened several times to block the cause and asked for further opinions from theologians, the postulator added. After "manipulations" of Emmerick's revelations by Brentano were identified, "the cause took on a faster pace," he said.

At the end of the 19th century, Emmerick was declared venerable. Her process of beatification was resumed in 1972. The heroic degree of her virtues was declared in 2001.

Her life was characterized by profound union with Christ, and an ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy See says in its biography.

Ambrosi added that the new blessed can serve as a model for the faithful today in her commitment to "the work of salvation through faith and love."