by Father Dan Morris
Every Thanksgiving before digging into yet another scrumptiously prepared meal, everyone is invited to share one thing we are most thankful for from the past year.
It never ceases to amaze me how powerful this spiritual exercise is. Not only does it afford everyone at the table an intimate glimpse into the hearts and lives of those we are called to be closest to, it also fosters a greater awareness and appreciation for just how blessed we are.
With this in mind, I thought it important to use this article to share with you some of the many things I am most thankful for this past year as vocation director:
• Archbishop Naumann — for his strong and faithful leadership as shepherd. I am especially grateful for the humility and generosity with which he shares his time and wisdom with the many young men who attend our vocation events.
• Six men ordained to the priesthood — our largest ordination class in 38 years. I am grateful to these six men for their openness to the call and perseverance in formation, preparing to serve and bring the sacraments to tens of thousands of people.
• My brother priests — for the joy, love and devotion with which they live out their priesthood. I’m especially thankful for the many ways they help foster and support vocations in their parishes and at our schools.
• Our seminarians — with admiration for their love for Jesus Christ and his church, as well as their overall maturity and the fraternity they cultivate with one another. Finally, for their courage to give this time of discernment to our Lord, trusting that God can never be outdone in generosity.
• Our religious communities — for their joyful witness to the consecrated life, and the many ways their communities inculcate a deeper love for prayer and apostolic service through their apostolates.
• Families— for the growing number of families putting a priority on going to Mass, practicing the faith and teaching their children how to pray. For the many parents who support, encourage and give their children the freedom to discern their God-given vocation.
• Youth and young adults — their love for the Eucharist, the Mass and an increasing desire to know and follow God’s will. For a generation of young people who are going out not to be served, but to serve.
• Serra clubs — for their dedicated support of our seminarians, priests and religious through their prayer, friendship, hosting of events and financial gifts.
• Parish vocation ministries — for the growing number of vocation ministries in our parishes and the many creative ways they foster and support vocations.
As you can see, God has and continues to bless our archdiocese with much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!