Called to Serve
Commission in Saskatoon has had active year
Kiply Lukan Yaworski
SASKATOON — The diocesan
Vocations Commission in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has
experienced another active year, encouraging awareness about all the
ways in which God calls people to holiness and service — and to
the particular vocations of single life, marriage, religious life and
A new initiative in the diocese
this year is focusing attention on the often-neglected vocation of single
life. The Vocations Commission has organized a Single Life retreat for
adult singles over 18 who wish to explore how God is calling them to
live out their Christian vocation as single persons in the world.
Rogal admitted that at times,
single life does not receive attention in vocations programming. “We
felt there was a crucial need for us to fill in that gap,” he
said, noting that adult singles from a variety of different backgrounds
are registering for the daylong retreat May 28 at Queen’s House
“People are realizing
that they can live out the single vocation well, without entering into
a romantic relationship, or entering religious life,” said Rogal,
acknowledging that everyone is single at some time on the life journey,
so at times the state of being single is seen as a time of transition.
“But this is a beautiful
state of life that allows for tremendous freedom and growth, and a responsibility
comes with that freedom,” Rogal stressed. “Single persons
give a gift to the church without which there would be a tremendous
Keynote speaker for the retreat
is Jeremy Rude of Ottawa who has lived committed to the single life
for the past five years. The retreat will include prayer, reflection
and sharing, and will challenge participants to discover how God is
calling them to serve in the world, Rogal described.
Other efforts at promoting
a culture of discernment and vocation awareness have included hosting
a provincial vocation gathering in the fall, and pursuing the idea of
a new provincial Calling Saskatchewan website about all the different
kinds of vocations.
Content is still being developed
for the new site, but the idea is to co-ordinate vocation promotion
efforts among dioceses and religious orders in the province and develop
a network of shared ideas and resources, explained Myron Rogal, co-ordinator
of the diocesan Vocations Office, which is funded by the Bishop’s
This effort at provincial
networking is happening in the midst of a year marked by increased collaboration
by the Vocations Commission with representatives of religious orders,
youth ministry leaders and the diocesan rural catechetics office, said
Rogal, who has a number of roles in the diocese, including co-ordinator
of the Diocesan Youth Retreat Team.
The retreat team and the
Vocations Commission are now joining forces to develop a new vocation
discernment retreat aimed at students in Grade 12 and in Grade 8, with
plans to begin offering the new retreat early in 2012, he reported.
The commission is also interested
in assisting in promoting an “Elijah’s Cup” program
of family prayer for vocations offered through the Knights of Columbus
that has been introduced in Holy Family parish in Saskatoon by Reb Materi.
In the Saskatoon diocese,
the vocation of marriage is most often addressed and nurtured through
the programming and offerings of a diocesan office of Marriage and Family
Life, working in conjunction with a volunteer board, the Marriage Task
Force. The focus on marriage preparation and enrichment includes an
annual Marriage Appreciation Banquet recently held in Saskatoon (see
related article) and similar events now being organized in other communities.
A special focus on vocations
to ordained ministry and religious life is part of the mission of the
diocesan Vocations Commission, noted Rogal.
Materials for the promotion
of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations May 15 were again distributed
to parishes across the diocese at the annual Chrism Mass, and included
a prayer card, a pamphlet of information about young women and men discerning
a call to religious life or priesthood in the diocese, and a poster
featuring several of those on the path to making deeper vocational commitments.
Two young women, Sister Cindy
Lewans and Sister Janna Tumbach, are now both temporary professed as
Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. At St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster,
Brother Cosmas Epilano is a Benedictine novice.
The diocese is blessed right
now with seven men attending seminary and on various stages in their
journey toward ordination to the priesthood, Rogal said. In addition,
the diocese is assisting Sacred Heart Chaldean Catholic seminarian Raad
Eshoo, for whom the Saskatoon Catholic bishop has canonical responsibility.
Two men — Hoang Nguyen
and Gregory Roth — will be ordained to the transitional diaconate
in May, and two others — Geoffrey Young and Matthew Ramsay —
will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Donald Bolen June 10 (see
As another vocation awareness
effort this year, the Vocations Commission is also encouraging priests
serving in the diocese to share their own vocation story during the
homily on the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on Good Shepherd Sunday,
“When I think about
vocations, a quote from Rev. Thomas Green, SJ’s book Darkness
in the Marketplace paints a very clear and concise portrait in simply
saying that ‘discernment is the place where prayer meets action,’
” said Rogal in reflecting on the heart of all that is happening
in the area of vocations.
“This precisely describes the mandate of the Vocations Commission to be held up in prayer, motivated to action, strengthened in the ongoing education in all that we are and do.”