Vo•ca•tion [voh-kay-shuh n]
A vocation is one's calling in life. More than a career or an occupation, one's vocation is the divine calling as to how a person is to serve Christ during their life. Discernment is the process by which (through prayer and a willingness to follow God's direction), we attempt to realize and follow God's plan for our lives.
While the vast majority of people are called to the vocation of married and family life, there are two other vocations to which every Catholic college student should give careful and prayerful consideration: the vocation to the priesthood and the vocation to religious life.
Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, "the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church." Through ordination to Holy Orders, the priesthood of Christ continues, in an unbroken succession from the first apostles to the present day.
Some men, during their college years, may begin to notice a quiet, interior urging of the heart to explore and prayerfully consider the priesthood as a lifelong vocation. This urging usually takes shape in specific ways: a growing prayer life, a joyful and selfless spirit, an attraction to the Church's liturgy, and a desire to serve Christ and his Church in a radical way. Other helpful qualities include a high level of maturity, a great work ethic and a willingness and ability to work with and minister to others.
Men at Ole Miss who are seriously considering the priesthood are encouraged to contact our pastor Father Joe.
Some men and women, during their college years, may begin to feel a calling to the religious life--a calling to forgo the good of marriage in order to join a religious community and serve the Church as a brother or sister in Christ. Men and women religious devote their lives to the salvation of the world by praying, living and working with others in their religious community for the good and salvation of themselves and others.
Those who are discerning a call to the religious life should prayerfully explore their calling with their priest or a spiritual director. In addition, here are a few practical tips for discerning a caling to religious life: