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Promoting vocations through witness of marriage

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How can we get more priests? How can we get more sisters and nuns?  How can we get more religious brothers? These are questions I am asked all of the time in this assignment as vocation director.

And all of these questions revolve around the issue of developing a culture of vocations. How do we get people to see all of the vocations the church recognizes as good? How do we get people to respect their vocation and encourage others to seek their own vocation as well?

We’ll never get more priests and people in consecrated life, if we don’t start with good marriages and families. It is so important that we, as faithful followers of Jesus Christ, support and promote healthy, happy, and holy marriages. It starts with knowing what the church teaches about marriage.

In my opinion, one of the most beautiful teachings of the church is about marriage. The church teaches that you marry the person who will help you get to heaven. When we know this teaching, it should affect the way we date and how we raise our children, so they know what to look for in a potential spouse.

It also effects the way we treat our spouse, remembering they are to help us to heaven, and we are to help them to heaven as well. We are reminded that the goal for everyone of us should be heaven, and we should help each other live our faith so we can join God there.

When we have families that realize this goal of heaven and they work towards it, we know they will be open to God’s will in their lives even when it goes against what they think they want.

As Catholics, we have been given so many great blessings, and we have been given so many opportunities to grow in our faith and share our faith. When we live our vocation with joy and happiness, knowing our vocation is the vehicle God gives us to go to heaven, we can help others be open to their call as well. It would be wonderful if every one of us would pray every day for a greater respect of all vocations: married life, chaste single life, consecrated life, permanent deacons and priests, in the hope that every one will support every vocation and encourage others to live the vocation God gives them.

Father Dan Schmitmeyer is the director of the archdiocesan Vocations Office.

This Vocation View column by Father Schmitmeyer originally appeared in the April 2015 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.
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