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Mark 1:16-20 "As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him."
It was the first Monday September of 1970, Labor Day Weekend, my parents dropped me off at the P.I.M.E. Missionaries High School Seminary, St’s Peter & Paul, in Newark, Ohio.

My decision to attend the seminary came about when I was in the 8th grade at St. Casimir's in Cleveland, Ohio. I attended a weekend retreat at Sts. Peter and Paul Seminary and recall the day I was leaving for the retreat: my mom, Sister Edward (the principal of my school) and myself, were waiting for Fr. Mario to pick me up. My mother said to Sister Edward, “I don’t know why he wants to go there.”

Sister Edward said, “If God is calling him to be a priest, there is nothing you can do.”

There is no dishonor in feeling that you may be called to the religious life and find you were mistaken.

The real shame is having been called
and not having answered.

Called by Name

The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip. And Jesus said to him, "Follow me." - John 1:43

Pray for our Seminarians

Ø  Old Testament

§  Gen 12:1-4 Call of Abram: Leave your country, your family, and come…

§  Exo 3:1-6, 9-12 Call of Moses: I shall be with you…

§  1 Sam 3:1-10 Call of Samuel: Speak, O Lord, your servant is listening

§  1 Kgs 19:16, 19-21 Call of Elisha: Elisha rose up and followed Elijah

§  Isa 5:6-8 Call of Isaiah: Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?

§  Isa 42:6-7 “I have called you…I have grasped you by the hand…To open the eyes of the blind”

§  Isa 43:3 “I have called you by name, you are mine

§  Isa 45:4 “I have called you by your name…though you knew me not”

§  Isa 49:1 “The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.”

§  Jer 1:4-10 The call of Jeremiah

§  Jer 20: 7-9 Response of Jeremiah: It seemed like a fire burning in my heart

§  Jer 29: 11-14 “I know well the plans I have in mind for you”

§  Hos 2:21-22 “I will espouse you in fidelity…”

Ø  New Testament

§  Mt 9: 35-38 The harvest is rich but the laborers are few

§  Mt 19: 16-30 The Rich Young Man

§  Mk 1:16-20 The Call of the first disciples

§  Mk 3:13 The Mission of the Twelve: “He summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him”

§  Mk 10: 17-27 Go and sell everything you own and follow me

§  Mk 10:28-30 You will be repaid a hundred times over

§  Lk 1:26-56 The Annunciation: Mary’s call

§  Lk 14:25-33 Any who do not carry their cross and come after me cannot be my disciple

§  Jn 1:35-51 The call of the first disciples: “Come and see”

§  Jn 10:2-3 “the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out”

§  Jn 15:9-17 You did not choose me; no, I chose you

§  Rm 1:6 “among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ”

§  Rm 8:28 “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose”

§  Rm 11:29 “For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable”

§  1 Cor 1: 26-31 “Not many of you were wise…Rather God chose the foolish…”

§  Gal 1:15 “God, who from my mother’s womb, had set me apart and called me through his grace”

§  Eph 1: 3-14 “To be holy and spotless and to live through love in His presence”

§  Php 3: 10-14 “to know him and the power…forgetting what lies behind…”

§  1 Pt 2:9-10 “God has called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light”

Pope John Paul II - Prayer for Responses to God's Call 

Let us pray for the young people, to whom the Lord extends His invitation to follow Him more closely, that they may not be drawn away by the things of this world, but may open their hearts to the loving voice that is calling them. Let us pray that they may feel capable of dedicating themselves for their whole lives, "with undivided heart," to Christ, the Church, and souls. Let us pray that they may believe that grace gives them the strength to make this gift, and that they may see the beauty and greatness of priestly, religious, and missionary life.

Let us pray for families, that they may succeed in creating a Christian environment favorable to the important religious choices of their children. And at the same time with all our hearts let us thank the Lord that in these recent years, in many parts of the world, many young and not so young people are responding in growing numbers to the divine call.

Let us pray that all priests and religious may be an example and an encouragement to those who have been called, by their availability and humble readiness,…to accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit and to transmit to others the fruits of love and peace, to give them that certainty of faith from which derive the profound understanding of meaning of human existence and the capacity to introduce moral order into the life of individuals and of the human setting.

[L’Osservatore Romano, 1-14-80]

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