Is God calling you?


In a letter to our priests I asked, do you remember how you discerned your call to the priesthood? Aside from the intimacy of God’s call in your heart, were there others who lent their voices to help you know that you were being called by God to this vocation? Perhaps a relative mentioned that they thought you would be a good priest, or maybe a friend or co-worker said something to you about the priesthood, or perhaps someone in your parish suggested that you consider the seminary.

Bishop Zinkula

A study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) of ordinands in 2019 found that four people on average encouraged a man to consider the priesthood. In my case, one of those persons was my bishop. When I was in high school, I received a letter from him encouraging me to consider becoming a priest. At the time, I didn’t follow up on it, but this letter planted a seed that was among the factors when I started to seriously discern God’s call for me.

With this in mind, I invite all clergy and lay people to join me in “Called by Name,” an initiative to prayerfully observe who in your parish community, sophomore in high school and older, may have a calling to the priesthood or religious life. “Called by Name” will take place in our parishes and Catholic high schools. Please don’t forget about college students and young adults who have graduated in recent years and moved elsewhere.

On Sunday, Feb. 16, I request that priests and/or deacons preach about the discernment of vocations, especially to the priesthood and religious life, and ask parishioners to pray about who they perceive may have a calling to those vocations. Bulletin inserts contain information to help parishioners in their task of prayerful discernment. The insert includes a form to complete, cut out and submit.


The following Sunday, Feb. 23, please submit the completed forms during Mass. Those who are recommended by the parish leaders will receive a letter and also materials on vocation discernment.

I am hoping for your generous cooperation with this effort. Let us not underestimate the power of personal invitation to those in our parishes whom God may be calling to the priesthood or religious life.

Most Rev. Thomas R. Zinkula/Mons. Thomas R. Zinkula

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