Advent marks the new Liturgical Year; it is a time for new opportunities and new beginnings.  Today we are in the season of Advent adventSoon, on January 1st we will start a new calendar year too, 2024.  The New year will be marked by fireworks, champagne toasts, get togethers of friends and families, and warm embraces as the clock strikes midnight.

Students involved in sports at their high schools will be ending cross country, football, and now flag football for girls. Boys and girls will be ending basketball and soccer. Boys and girls will now begin lacrosse, softball and swimming, along with track and field.

College students will begin a new series of courses as the semester or quarter draws to a close. Also, college teams will be engaged in basketball playoffs as they approach March Madness.

People employed in various jobs may begin to explore and apply for a different job or even a new field of work.

The word vocation refers to  the work in which a person is employed or the special function of an individual or group. Religious vocations refer to a person’s calling or commitment to a life of service within a religious context. These vocations involve dedicating one’s life to spiritual and religious practices, often within a specific religious tradition.

New Opportunities

This might be  a time for you to explore new ventures, new occupations, new vocations and even a religious vocation too? Some may decide to serve as priests, who lead congregations, celebrate the sacraments and provide pastoral care.

The term “priesthood” refers to the office or vocation of a priest, someone who is ordained to perform religious rituals, ceremonies, and functions within a particular religious tradition. The role of a priest can vary significantly between different religious denominations  and traditions.

Ordination:  Catholic priests are ordained through the sacrament of Holy Orders. The process includes years of seminary education and spiritual formation. Catholic priests celebrate Mass, administer sacraments (such as baptism, reconciliation, and communion), provide pastoral care, and lead congregations.

Some may decide to enter a monastic or contemplative community. Women may decide to pursue a vocation as a nun in a religious community. There are 112 communities of women religious in the United States. Others may decide to follow a religious vocation as a lay person. Catholic Volunteer Network is a membership organization of over 180 faith-based volunteer programs. They offer full-time service opportunities for members.

Religious Vocations

People considering religious vocations often undergo a process of discernment, seeking guidance through prayer, meditation, and spiritual mentorship. Spiritual Direction is one such mentorship, and Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, PA has a team of trained spiritual directors.

“Spiritual direction aims to make clear the voice of God so one can become more responsive to God in their lives. The Holy Spirit operates in the ordinary experience of our everyday life and ironically, we miss most of these epiphanies precisely because they are so ordinary.  It is by taking our experience into prayer and spiritual direction that affords us the opportunity of making these encounters more manifest.”

Discerning a vocation to the Catholic priesthood or a vocation to religious life features several fulfilling steps. God’s call comes to each person in a different way. God’s call is as unique as the individual God is calling. And each person responds to God’s call in their own way.

Daylesford Abbey seeks qualified candidates (ages 20 to 45) who desire to serve the Church as Catholic priests or brothers. The process of discernment requires formation in their  life. The goal of formation is to help individuals discern their vocation and, ultimately, enjoy full incorporation into the Daylesford Abbey community.

Click here and go to the Daylesford Abbey site for more information on spiritual direction.

Becoming a Norbertine

If you want to learn more about becoming a Norbertine priest  at Daylesford Abbey, click here.

A New year is soon upon us, and perhaps a new vocation too. The journey to become a Norbertine priest begins with a visit to Daylesford Abbey. https://daylesford.org/

Come back in a few days to read more about how to become a priest.

Let the journey begin.

daylesford abbey