Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vocation awareness

Saints at sunrise - an inspirational photo I took in the rectory attic

This week the church celebrates Vocation Awareness Week as people are asked to pray for more vocations to the priesthood, religious and consecrated life. This gives me the opportunity to thank God for the most precious gift He has given me, my vocation as a priest. I thank Him also for my two wonderful and devoted parents who nurtured this vocation ever since I was born. Growing up in my homeland of Malta, it was beneficial for me and my 12 classmates to feel protected and encouraged to pursue a religious vocation, especially living in a country which is totally Catholic. During my seven years in the Seminary (1970-1977) I discovered more gifts and talents that God was giving me, and still others were nurtured during the past 35 years of priesthood. 

My coming to the USA in 1981 opened up for me a new window of opportunity to learn more, to grow in love of my people and to dedicate my life to pastoral ministry in New York and Oregon. Many people have touched my life during this journey and I hope I was able to get many people closer to God and to their faith. Granted that the situation with vocations is not very positive in the USA, but we feel blessed that so many missionary priests have left their homeland to minister in foreign lands, faraway from their families and homelands. We pray during this week that the Lord will continue to provide shepherds for their sheep, pastors for their parishioners, ministers who show God's love by their preaching, teaching and guidance.

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