Third video in ‘Five Foundations’ series released, focuses on fostering vocations
Everyone has a vocation.
“We are all called to discern how best to serve the Lord, the church, and our communities,” said Bishop Louis Tylka as he introduced the third video in a series about the “Five Foundations” on which he hopes the Diocese of Peoria will build a “mission-driven, vibrant church of tomorrow.” As such, the videos are meant to support the “Growing Disciples” pastoral planning process.
This video is about strengthening vocations — particularly to the priesthood and religious life — and features a conversation between Father Chase Hilgenbrinck, diocesan vocation director of recruitment, and Sister M. Bernadette Morse, FSGM, a theology teacher and campus minister at Alleman High School in Rock Island. Both were assigned to serve at the school as their first public ministry and now share a deep friendship of faith and seeking to understand God’s plan for their lives.
“That’s how we frame vocations, which is the realization that I was made for a purpose and that because God speaks to his people we can come to know that purpose for which we were created,” Father Hilgenbrinck told The Catholic Post. “That’s what we call vocation in the church.”
The first vocation for everyone is holiness and that’s what unites every vocation, he explained.
“Certainly after we are living a faithful discipleship or that call to holiness, then he gives us a particular or sacred vocation. We even call it a secondary vocation in the church, which is priesthood, consecrated life, matrimony,” Father Hilgenbrinck said.
“That mission is the way we evangelize.”
Sister M. Bernadette said people tend to forget that daily call from God.
“Every single day of our life we have a vocation,” she said. “Just being able to remind ourselves of that mystery but then to share that with those who will watch the video was a gift.”
SACRIFICE AND JOY
Both spoke of the importance of the vocation to good holy marriages, noting that the family is the building block of society and the church.
“The holier families are, the stronger the church will be,” Sister M. Bernadette said. “Holy priests and religious are going to come from holy families. It starts with the family. That’s why the family is called the domestic church.”
They also spoke about how saying “yes” to God leads to happiness. In fact, the first question Father Hilgenbrinck asked Sister M. Bernadette in the video was, “Are you happy?”
Her smile answered his question before any words she spoke.
“You can’t wipe the smile off of Sister M. Bernadette’s face,” he said. “She is one of the most joyful Sisters that I’ve encountered. Just to hear people talk about her joy. . . .”
It’s important for young people to see that joy as they consider their vocation in life, Father Hilgenbrinck said.
“Whenever we think about a sacred vocation to consecrated life or the priesthood, the first thing young people usually think about is what a great sacrifice (it is). We equate that with suffering,” he said.
Some of the fears that go with that have to do with loneliness and celibacy, they acknowledged. But doing God’s will bears the fruit of joy and freedom, Sister M. Bernadette said.
“Jesus is trustworthy. The Father’s plan is trustworthy. Are we willing to ask and willing to listen,” she asked. “I think the more we see that God is trustworthy, the more eager we will be to ask, ‘What is your plan for my life, God?’”
She added that God’s plan for us is always greater than our own.
“God sees us in a way that we don’t yet see ourselves and someday we will in the fullness of his glory,” Sister M. Bernadette said.
GOD’S CALL NEVER ENDS
Spending time in front of the Eucharist and making Jesus the center of their lives played an important role in their vocations, Father Hilgenbrinck said. “That gives space for Jesus to speak, but also for us to become more convicted and have clarity in what he’s asking us to do.”
“Jesus is trustworthy. The Father’s plan is trustworthy. Are we willing to ask and willing to listen? I think the more we see that God is trustworthy, the more eager we will be to ask, ‘What is your plan for my life, God?’” — Sister M. Bernadette, FSGM
It also helps people, especially those who are young, to hear you say that they would be an amazing wife and mother, husband and father, as well as a priest or consecrated religious, Sister M. Bernadette said.
“God calls us right now. My life is full of meaning today,” she told The Catholic Post. But saying “yes” to a particular vocation isn’t the end of the discernment process.
“God’s call doesn’t ever cease,” Sister M. Bernadette said. “His call is new every day to live the vocation he has called us to.”
In addition to strengthening vocations, Bishop Tylka’s “Five Foundations” include evangelization, discipleship, the Eucharist and the legacy of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. The videos are the work of Sam Mangieri of Fiat Films.
To find the videos focusing on evangelization, discipleship and vocations, visit cdop.org/pastoral-plan/five-foundations.