The word vocation has many meanings.  A vocation is a strong feeling that you are good at a certain job or career, or a suitable occupation. A vocation is like a calling or fervent desire to do something specific.

A vocation is a special calling from God. It can lead someone to become a priest or join a religious community. Those who answer this call live by the evangelical counsels.

In the past, men frequently chose to join the military, workforce, or seminary. Men entered a seminary to become a priest in a diocese or religious order.

vocationThey also did this to become a monk in a contemplative or active religious order. Women chose to be a nurse or teacher, a nun, or a married mother often bearing children. In our modern world, there are hundreds, even thousands more choices for both men and women.

After World War II, many soldiers returned to their homes. They had seen death in combat. They wanted to find a deeper meaning in life. So, they decided to pursue religious life by joining monasteries.

Some women served as nurses during the war and continued their service as nurses in religious orders of nuns.

Many young men also entered seminaries here in the United States to begin their formation as diocesan priests.

In the rapidly changing landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), and AI research, our understanding of vocation and career is undergoing significant transformation. In today’s world, vocational language emphasizes collaboration, continuous learning, ethics, and career flexibility. This calls for continuous growth of the human brain and purpose-driven work. Computer vision and training data are essential elements of this work.

These are worthwhile ideals in many areas of work and in our daily living too. In Roman Catholicism, people with a religious vocation surround themselves with others who share similar ideals.

Continuous learning is important for people who are training to become religious leaders. This learning starts when they first begin their training as a postulant or novice. It continues as they study in a seminary to become diocesan priests.

Members of religious communities and clergy collaborate and work together. This includes pastors, vicars, and seminarians collaborating with their local church Bishop.

Working together helps strengthen the community and promotes unity among its members. This collaboration also allows for better communication and coordination within the religious organization. By working together, religious leaders can better serve their congregation and fulfill their spiritual duties.

Branches of Christianity and their leaders should promote ethical responsibility within their community and among those they assist. This duty of the Christian church involves educating others about moral values and principles. AI technology can be a valuable tool in this endeavor.

It also includes promoting ethical behavior and decision-making. Additionally, they are responsible for fostering a sense of accountability and integrity within their community.

Continuous growth is important in religious communities. Members progress from postulant to novice to junior professed and then to solemnly professed. Some then take on leadership roles as vocation directors, priors and abbot or abbesses.

For diocesan priests they often begin their ministry as a parochial vicar in a parish, collaborating with a pastor. They often then become a pastor themselves. Some then progress to diocesan leadership roles, assisting their Bishop in leading and governing a diocese. A few even progress to national leadership roles.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the roles for priests are Deacons, Priests. Bishops. Archbishops. Cardinals. and Pope.

The Pope chooses cardinals for the Catholic Church worldwide. When a Pope dies, the cardinals meet to elect a new Pope after his funeral.

Pope Francis has been appointing cardinals from many third world countries, so the next consistory will look different than it has in the past. It’s important to be ethical because our religious leaders have strong beliefs about poverty, community, life, death, and other issues. People look to their guidance in their own life decisions.

The men at Daylesford Abbey responded to God’s to a vocation in religious life, serving as brothers and priests.  The Norbertine’s at Daylesford Abbey are a 900-year old Catholic religious order founded by St. Norbert with a specific commitment to promoting healing and justice.  To learn more about vocations at Daylesford Abbey click here.  

No human being is perfect except for Jesus.  Our religious leaders try to emulate Jesus and follow his example, but sadly we humans are not perfect.

Church leaders are focusing on teaching ethics and morals in their seminaries, monasteries, and women’s communities. Parents are also working on instilling values in their children.

We move forward, living in the hope that we will make the world a better place for all.