The kids are all back in school (yeah!) and yesterday I had a day off of work and could spend it in any way I pleased. Well it pleased me very much to spend my morning helping out at the Apostleship of Prayer offices. My dear friend, Fr. James Kubicki SJ, the National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer, offered Mass for an intimate group of about ten people, and after Mass we all got busy stuffing envelopes with the monthly Prayer Intentions of Pope Benedict. The conversation around the work space revolved around prayers and saints, the type of conversing that made me feel right at home, as if these were all life-long friends that I was working with, instead of people that I had just met! Everyone was so warm and welcoming that I am already looking forward to next month when I can return to help once again! If you aren't already a member of the Apostleship of Prayer, won't you visit their website and consider joining in Pope Benedict's very own prayer group?
After the children returned from school and finished their homework, my family and I went to the Seminary of St. Francis de Sales to attend a special annual Mass for Vocations. Archbishop Listecki offered Mass in Christ King Chapel for seminarians of several orders as well as for those discerning a call to the priesthood and relious life, and their families. Following Mass, we all headed over to the Archbishop's backyard for a picnic. It was a beautiful opportunity for my son to mingle with others who are also discerning the call to priesthood, as well as a chance for the entire family to draw closer to the seminarians and priests who work with vocations.
I am always amazed at the variety of people who hear and answer God's call. We met a wonderful man who was just beginning his seminary studies. His wife had passed away two years ago, and his three daughters are all adults and out on their own. He gave up a lifelong career as a pediatrician to return to studies at the seminary with the vocation of priesthood as his ultimate goal. He was extremely outgoing and friendly, and clearly enjoyed being where he was at this point in his life, even though the majority of seminarians with whom he lives and studies are much younger than he.
I praise God for all seminarians, those discerning a call to the priesthood and religious life, for all priests and families who nourish those budding vocations, as well as for all of those who offer their daily joys and sufferings for the sake of the Church.