By Kiply Lukan Yaworski
[SASKATOON, Sept. 13, 2018] – Fr. Colin Roy opened a recent Priest/Religious Vocations Discernment Night at St. Therese Institute in Bruno, SK by reflecting on the universal call to holiness as described by St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
“You cannot be half a saint. You must be a whole saint or no saint at all,” said the cloistered Carmelite nun, who died in 1897 at the age of 24. Canonized in 1925, St. Thérèse has been recognized as a Doctor of the Church, and her “little way” of love has inspired many.
In addition to this universal call to holiness, God has a very particular call for each person, added Roy, who serves as a vocation director in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, along with Fr. Daniel Yasinski.
“God loves each of us in a very unique way,” said Roy. In order to be aware of God’s particular call for us, time and space must be made for listening to the Lord, but also for sharing, discussing, and discerning with others, he stressed.
The vocation discernment night was an opportunity for just such listening and sharing, opening with the Rosary, followed by speakers, and small group discussions, concluding with Eucharistic Adoration.
The St. Therese event was open to the public, with a number of young adults joining students there to hear speakers, including Fr. Colin Roy, Fr. Daniel Yasinski, Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Sr. Lucie Hamel, PM, and Sr. Cindy Lewans, PM.
Bishop Hagemoen began by addressing the entire group. He too reflected on a quote from St. Thérèse, which he encountered during his own vocational discernment: “To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul.”
“When I came across that line for the first time, I realized that vocation wasn’t about function, it wasn’t about title. It was about God calling me to be consistent in loving him and loving others,” said the bishop.
Hagemoen pointed to the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary (introduced in 2002 by Saint Pope John Paul II) as a resource for vocational discernment, with their focus on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, namely: His Baptism in the Jordan, the miracle of the wedding at Cana, the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.
“If you reflect on the journey aspect of vocation, and all that means – no matter what the vocation – the Luminous Mysteries are a marvelous collection to keep coming back into, to be immersed in, and nourished by,” Hagemoen said.
The bishop then led a session for men in the group, entitled: “Why the ministerial priesthood matters.”
Meanwhile, the young women attended a session entitled: “Why religious life matters,” led by Sr. Lucie Hamel and Sr. Cindy Lewans of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.
Beginning with a reflection on the Annunciation, and Mary’s “yes” to God, the two sisters described the importance of listening, and of being open to God, even in small everyday moments.
Lewans quoted 13th- century theologian and mystic Meister Eckhart: “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born in our world.”
As for our response to God’s call in our lives, it is about trying to love as God loves, she continued.
“It is about striving to be in right relationship with God and with others, living in community… and finding God in all things,” Lewans said. “We have to be really attentive to how God is present in the moment.”