vocation

GUEST COLUMNIST | A vocation to serve and protect

In June, at an audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City, Italian police officers were thanked for their service. The pope emphasized to them, "your vocation is service," and he highlighted how their mission as police officers "is expressed in service to others" through their "constant availability, patience, a spirit of sacrifice and sense of duty."

Pedaling priests to bike across Peoria Diocese seeking vocation prayers

Three priests from the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., rode their bicycles across the diocese, a trek of 350 miles, from April 24-28 to inspire prayers for vocations. The “Priests Pedaling for Prayers” are Fathers Michael Pica, Tom Otto and Adam Cesarek.

PEORIA, Ill. — Being a priest has made Father Michael Pica, Father Adam Cesarek and Father Tom Otto so happy that they are preparing to share their joy with people from Rock Island to Danville — literally.

From April 24 to 28, the three priests rode their bikes 350 miles across the Diocese of Peoria — the width of Illinois — to raise awareness for vocations and show people that priesthood is a wonderful life. Along the way, they stopped at schools and parishes to encourage prayers for vocations and tell the story of their own call to priestly service.

Fr. Martin succeeds cohort as national vocations president

Father Chris Martin barely had time to reflect on his new title as president of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocations Directors.

Just a week after his election at the group's annual convention in Boston, he was off to Rome for the first-ever World Summit on Vocations, called by Pope Francis. Father Martin is among 200 vocations directors from around the world, including five others from the United States, to be invited to the three-day summit. The Holy Father is slated to address the group Oct. 21.

TWENTY SOMETHING | Dreaming of the Caribbean: Bold adventures, surprise homecomings

Christina Capecchi

The phone call came when I was making dinner on a hum-drum Sunday whose excitement had peaked with a trip to the grocery store.

It had been months since I'd spoken with my college friend Wendy, but she skipped right over the small talk: She's moving to St. Croix.

When I heard St. Croix, I thought Wisconsin and the river I've fished with my brother. But Wendy clarified: the U.S. Virgin Islands.

DEAR FATHER | When a priest is on vacation, he doesn't take a break from vocation

Father John Mayo

Do priests and bishops celebrate Mass while they are away from their assignments? If so, how? 

In the seminary, we had a phrase to not take a vacation from vocation. This means that even while we were away from the seminary, or as priests from our assignments, that we were still to strive for holiness through how we conducted ourselves and by taking time for prayer.

A VOCATION TO FAMILY

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org
Manal Kassab shared a moment with her husband, Father Akiki, as the two reminisced about their long friendship which led to their marriage.

As a newly ordained priest, Father Wissam Akiki hasn't been assigned to his first parish yet, but already he's been preparing for another big assignment: He'll be filling in at a parish in Cincinnati during Holy Week, perhaps the most important week in the life of the Church.

Already, his plate has been filled. In addition to assisting at his temporary assignment, St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis, he's been preparing his homilies for Holy Week and tending to another major part of his life -- his wife, Manal, and 8-year-old daughter, Perla.

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