4th Sunday in Easter – April 25, 2021

Good Shepherd Sunday / World Day of Prayer for Vocations

CALLED TO SHEPHERD GOD’S PEOPLE

Some Stories of Love and Passion

Rev. Mother Dolores Hart (born October 20, 1938) is an American Roman Catholic nun and former actress. She made ten films in five years, playing opposite Stephen Boyd, Montgomery Clift, George Hamilton and Robert Wagner, having made her movie debut with Elvis Presley in Loving You (1957). By the early 1960s an established leading lady, she “stunned Hollywood” by announcing that she would be giving up her career to enter a convent. She is now Mo. Dolores Hart, OSB, of the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut.

Olalla Oliveros, a beautiful and well known Spanish model who did advertisements, television commercials, and worked as an actress has given up her career and decided to become a nun. Last month, Oliveros entered the semi-cloistered Order of Saint Michael. Oliveros is reluctant to talk about herself, but says she had an “earthquake” experience on a visit to Fatima and could not shake the image of herself dressed as a nun, which at the time she thought was absurd. Eventually, she realized that the image in her mind was a calling. “The Lord is never wrong. He asked if I will follow him, and I could not refuse,” Oliveros said. Now she just wants to be an ordinary nun.

Robert “Bobby” Love, was an American Tattoo Artist. “I should be happy, but I felt very alone and adrift. I looked at myself and realized that I had become a product,” Love once said. “I was doing art not as personal expression but for what the kids want, what the kids would shell out the coin for.” Above all these he admitted, “I had no clue what love was. I had no clue how to love or how to let other people love me and that’s why I was miserable.” Once a friend asked him to do a chest tattoo of the Jerusalem cross, embroidered on the cloth covering the Mt. Angel Abbey’s tabernacle. Love visited the abbey, looked at the embroidered cross, and learned about an upcoming vocations discernment retreat. In September of 2014, Bobby Love made his final vows, five years since he attended the first discernment retreat.  He took the name Bro. André, after St. André Bessette. Yes, tattoos and all! He is now the curator of the Mount Angel Abbey’s art collection. 

Chase Michael Hilgenbrinck McDonald (born April 2, 1982 in Quincy, Illinois) is a former American soccer defender. He is most notable for walking away from his professional career to become a Catholic priest. Hilgenbrick’s last game was on a Sunday, July 13, 2008, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts when the New England Revolution faced Mexican club Santos Laguna in a SuperLiga game. In the summer of 2007, the vocation director for the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Ill., sent him an extensive application packet. He had to write a 20-page autobiography and submit responses to a series of essay questions, in addition to a background check and fingerprinting. In December, the day after he returned to the U.S. following the end of the soccer season in Chile, he went through an entire battery of testing. He took five written exams in one day, and was evaluated by three different psychologists. Hilgenbrinck retired from soccer on July 14, 2008 to enter the Catholic Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland in order to become a priest. He was ordained a priest in the diocese of Peoria on May 24, 2014.

EIGHT WAYS WE CAN HELP NURTURE VOCATIONS

1.  Be faith-filled people. Pray for guidance in decisions, and seek to deepen your relationship with God. Let Christian values guide you.

2.  Be generous and of service to others.

3.  Pray. Let the children see you pray and pray with them in ordinary and extraordinary circumstances.

4.  Share faith. Talk with children about how faith affects your life.

5.  Make and demand sacrifice. Help children see both by example and by what you expect of them that a holy and happy life involves sacrifice.

6.  Stay in touch. Get to know priests and religious by interacting with them as opportunities arise so that you are comfortable with them and understand their commitment.

7.  Educate. Teach children you know about the option of a call to religious life or priesthood as well as the call to marriage or single life.

8.  Support. If a child or young adult speaks of a desire to be a priest, deacon, brother or sister, be supportive.

EIGHT SIGNS OF A CALL TO PRIESTHOOD/ DIACONATE

1. Love of God that manifests itself in a desire to give one’s life in service to God’s People particularly expressed through the passionate living out of the promises of poverty, chastity and obedience.

2.  Love of the Church and its sacraments and a desire to celebrate the sacraments with the community.

3.  Love of God’s Word and a desire to proclaim the gospel to God’s people.

4.  Desire to model holiness as Christ’s representative among the People of God.

5.  A heart that can listen to others and reach out in healing.

6.  Ability to be happy without the intimate companionship of a wife and family.

7.  Generosity & Compassion.

8.  Desire to deepen prayer and relationship with God.

EIGHT SIGNS OF A VOCATION TO BE A RELIGIOUS

1. Love of God that manifests itself in a desire to give one’s life as a witness to the immensity of God’s lovefor all people particularly through the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

2. Desire to live simply.

3. Ability to relate with a variety of people, to be happy alone or in a group.

4. Joy in serving others in any outreach or parish involvement.

5. Generosity & Compassion

6. Ability to listen to others and accept direction when needed.

7. Desire to love expansively rather than needing an intimate relationship with one person.

8. Desire to grow in union with God through prayer and service of the needy.

Please Pray for Priestly & religious Vocations.

PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

              O Father, raise up among Christians abundant and holy vocations to the priesthood, who keep the faith alive and guard the blessed memory of your Son Jesus through the preaching of his word and the administration of the Sacraments, with which you continually renew your faithful.

              Grant us holy ministers of your altar, who are careful and fervent guardians of the Eucharist, the sacrament of the supreme gift of Christ for the redemption of the world.

              Call ministers of your mercy, who, through the sacrament of Reconciliation, spread the joy of your forgiveness.

              Grant, O Father, that the Church may welcome with joy the numerous inspirations of the Spirit of your Son and, docile to His teachings, may she care for vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life.

              Sustain the Bishops, priests and deacons, consecrated men and women, and all the baptized in Christ, so that they may faithfully fulfil their mission at the service of the Gospel. This we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

              Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.

God bless you! ♥