Welcome to our new Vocations Blog! It seems fitting to us that our first post is on the Feast of St. Andrew, the “Protoclete,” Greek for “the first called.” The Gospel tell us that Our Lord saw Andrew and his brother Peter casting a net into the sea, and he said to them, “Come and follow me; I will make you into fishers of men. And they dropped their nets immediately, and followed him” (Matthew 4:19-20). How perfect for our first post!
The idea for this blog came from the young women who have attended our Monastic Experience Weekend, who suggested that we have something specifically addressed to young men and women our age. (The seniors in the community are turning this project over to the younger generation!) We hope to post quotations and insights on vocations, as well as community news from our perch. But we also hope that this blog will be a help to anyone who reads it, because all of us – single, married, religious – are called to follow Jesus.
The older members of the community talk about a day in 1979, back when they were our age. October 1, 1979, to be exact. They all piled into a bus and drove into Boston. It was pouring rain, but nobody minded. Pope (now Saint!) John Paul II was in the USA, and he was celebrating Mass on Boston Common. His homily made a deep impression on them, and we’d like to end with some of his words:
And, as a last word to all of you who listen to me tonight, I would say this : the reason for my mission, for my journey, through the United States is to tell you, to tell everyone—young and old alike—to say to everyone in the name of Christ: “Come and follow me !”
Follow Christ! You who are married: share your love and your burdens with each other; respect the human dignity of your spouse; accept joyfully the life that God gives through you; make your marriage stable and secure for your children’s sake.
Follow Christ! You who are single or who are preparing for marriage. Follow Christ! You who are young or old. Follow Christ! You who are sick or aging; who are suffering or in pain. You who feel the need for healing, the need for love, the need for a friend—follow Christ!
If you’d like to read the full homily, here’s the link. And, even better, if you’d like to actually hear St. John Paul giving the homily in his powerful voice all those years ago, you can watch it here. The part of the speech we included here is at the beginning of the clip. And don’t miss the umbrellas!