Brides of the Most Blessed Trinity
1681 Bayou duLarge Road
March 19, 2007
Today is the Feast Day of our beloved Saint Joseph, the Foster Father of Jesus and the earthly Spouse and Guardian of our Blessed Mother. In this beautiful season of Lent, we are blessed with signs of spring all around us while many, in other places are still surrounded by bitter cold, ice and snow.
I am inspired to write you today in the name of all the Brides of the Most Blessed Trinity throughout the world as I reflect on the life of St. Joseph.
First of all, we want to thank you for saying yes to God by becoming a priest. We want to thank you also for your daily yes! As I think about St. Joseph, Patron of Fathers, I realize how closely his life, his role resembles yours as priest! I guess I never thought of this until today. You, like him, were chosen to be a Father to God’s children. You were chosen to be with us in good times and in bad, in happy times and in sad times. You were chosen to teach us, to guide us and to protect us. You are entrusted by God with the protection of our souls. You like St. Joseph, live a life of sacrificial love, a life given for us.
O Father what an awesome gift you are to us! A gift from God to His children. We appreciate you and all you do out of love for God and for us. We encourage you to persevere in holiness through the obstacles of daily life. I am certain there are times when you wonder who will be there to take your place as the shortage of priests looms over all of us. Perhaps St. Joseph also had this concern when he saw himself getting old. God knew already what was going to happen.
This coming April 29, 2007 is World Day of Prayer for Religious Vocations. I read the enclosed article in The Word Among Us. It is a really good article and I encourage you to print and enclose it in your Bulletin for that week-end. Those of us in the pews need to be reminded of our responsibilities where Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are concerned.
Thank you again for your Fiat. Please be assured of our continued daily prayer for you, for all priests and for more priests.
May God’s peace reign in your heart and soul forever,
Claire Rose Champagne,
Bride of the Most Blessed Trinity,
a little servant of the servants
A Home Where Vocations Grow
From: “The Word Among Us” Family Insert Lent 2007
A Home Where Vocations Grow
12 Things Parents Can Do
Want to help your children discern whether they’re called to religious life, or to married or single life in the world? These suggestions can help. Why not focus on two or three this Lent?
Talk with your kids about their gifts and abilities, about the importance of their contribution to the church and the world. They should know that every Christian, young and old, has a part to play in building up the body of Christ.
Pray for vocations as a family –for singles, married couples, priests, and religious. This year’s World Day of Prayer for religious vocations falls on Sunday, April 29. Mark it on your calendar and decide on a way to observe it.
Avoid disparaging remarks about marriage and the single life. Watch how you speak about bishops, priests, and other religious. Your attitude of respect will help your children be open to God’s call on their lives.
Build your marriage. Growing up in the context of a strong and healthy marriage gives kids vision for every vocation. Minnesota native Fr. John Paul Erickson says he was always “keenly aware” that his parents loved each other. “From them I received the inspiration and desire to give myself fully to someone or some thing.”
Spend quiet time with the Lord, and help your children develop this habit, too. Try stopping in at church during the day, or sign up for Eucharistic Adoration.
Keep learning about your faith, and encourage your kids to do the same. How many vocations have been found or strengthened simply because someone read the Catechism, dipped into spiritual writings, or attended a good lecture series on some aspect of the faith?
Introduce your children to the lives of saints and Bible figures who loved the Lord. For inspiration, it’s hard to beat a story of how God awakens this love in a person’s heart.
Look for good vocation stories. When appropriate, invite visitors and extended family members to share their experiences with you and your children. It is moving to hear how God calls people to marriage, the priesthood, the consecrated life, to a renewal movement, or service of others.
What about volunteering as a family? Is there a service project that would be a good fit for an older child? Meeting needs, discovering one’s gifts, seeing others give of themselves –all of this stimulates generosity and desire to follow God’s call.
Give your children freedom to find and follow their vocation. Talk with them, but refrain from steering them into the religious life or the career you always wish you had chosen.
Eat dinner together. The benefits of regular family meals are well documented (see www.casacolumbia.org and www.familytable.info). If you want a new twist on the subject, watch for the upcoming TV series from PBS, Grace before Meals. It’s a cooking show with a message about the need for family time. In each episode, Fr. Leo Patalinghug, a personable young priest form the Archdiocese of Baltimore, helps a family prepare a meal, then sits down to enjoy it with them. You can view the pilot and trailer online at www.gracebeforemeals.com.
Trust God. Your child’s vocation doesn’t ultimately depend on you! Parents can nurture the seed, but it’s God who gives the growth (see 1 Corinthians 3:7).