The gift of vocation
There were over 300 who attended the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) Convocation in Plano, Texas. Of that number, I was one of the more than 100 first timers! Participants came as far as Guam, Canada and Ireland. The theme of the biennial convocation was: “Vocation Ministers as Ambassadors for Christ: A Reconciling Presence.”
At the opening prayer on Nov. 1, Feast of All Saints, there was a time when the pictures of the founders/foundresses of various religious congregations were presented via PowerPoint in gratitude for their legacy and how each is faithfully carried out in response to the needs of the time.
Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, a Redemptorist, and the newly appointed archbishop of Indianapolis, was a keynote speaker. He reminded us that in reconciliation with Christ we are brought together, raised together and in Christ enthroned together.
In the interactions, reflections and group sharing, I experienced the rich and varied charism (spiritual gift/spirit/core value) that determine the congregation’s lifestyle, spirituality and mission. What a blessing to the Church.
The vocation ministers’ God-given-passion reflected that the church has committed bridge-builders, “ambassadors of Christ” in our society, and within the Church. It is a blessing to belong to this group of women and men who professed a radical following of Jesus, giving visible witness to the gospel through vocation ministry. I came home from this energetic gathering renewed as well as challenged to be a reconciling presence. It was encouraging to be part of such a joyful group and experience men and women who are living very hopeful for the vocation ministry of the Church.
And so at this time of Thanksgiving, I am deeply grateful for God’s gift of vocation to religious life, and to the Sisters of Providence particularly. I pray that the reconciling presence of men and women religious with Christ, the bond, will bring about God’s peace and justice to our world.