Duc in altum! “Put out into the deep!” These are the words that Christ used when he called Peter and Andrew to follow him (Luke 5:4). These are the words that Christ still addresses to each of us today. This radical call can be a scary one. “The ways of the Lord are not comfortable,” Benedict XVI says. “But we were not created for comfort, but for greatness.”
Young people in particular long for greatness; they want to do something beautiful and lasting with their lives. This desire corresponds to their destiny as creatures made in the image of God: they are all called to holiness. God calls everyone to be a saint.
Some of these young people will live out their call to holiness as priests, nuns, or religious brothers and sisters. Others will live it out as married men and women. Whatever their vocation, all are called to give their lives completely to Christ and to follow him as disciples. Discipleship, then, is the starting point of every vocation and this means coming into authentic friendship with Christ and His Church. From there, disciples of Christ discern in what manner they are called to give their lives away in radical love.
The Vocation Discernment Program is designed particularly for young men and women who are discerning a possible call to religious life. The goal of this program is to support these young people as they learn how they fit into God’s plan. To this end, the Saint Benedict Forum supports these students by:
- Providing a Catholic mentor who will accompany them on their journey
- Connecting them with young Catholic missionaries who are living the New Evangelization
- Training young men to serve at the altar
- Involving them in service opportunities at the Church
- Establishing daily and weekly time for individual and group prayer
- Giving each student a stipend to attend a vocation discernment retreat of their choice
There is no pressure for students to pursue a religious vocation if they are not called to it. We are equally happy if students are on fire for Christ and discern a vocation to marriage. The Vocation Discernment Program exists to create a context for young people to think prayerfully and openly about how God is calling them to give their lives.
For more information or to find out how you can become a part of this program, contact Dr. Jared Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.