All Have a Call, The Response May Vary
By Penny Wiegert
For most of the past three decades, I have had the privilege of being a part of the ordinations of priests and deacons for the Diocese of Rockford. 
I have either written the bios of the candidates before ordination, provided written or photographic coverage and more recently, organized and arranged for livestreaming and coverage on social media.  
It is always an honor to see the seminarians finally reach the day when they gather before family and friends to be ordained by the bishop they pledge their honor and obedience to. It is equally joyful to watch laymen permanently offer to serve others and God through the diaconate, knowing that their wives are supportive even when it means sacrificing family time to fulfill the promises made at ordination.
I have listened many, many times to the promises made by the new priests and deacons at the Rite of Ordination. I have always felt very moved as the men move through each step of the rite.  It is always such an emotional ceremony that serves to fill all of us diocesan Catholics with pride as we welcome new men into the service of the diocesan Church, which of course means service to you and me.
This year I was particularly struck by some words Bishop David Malloy spoke to Rev. Mr. Nathan Pacer and Deacon Stewart Dobson.  A portion of Bishop Malloy’s homily is this:
“To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to have received the gifts of the Spirit that God gives lavishly.  But He also gives those gifts specifically.  Every member of the Church receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit to fulfill his or her specific calling and part of God’s plan.
“Viewed in that perspective, the Apostles were asking the community to help determine which men the Holy Spirit had called to this particular service for the good of the Church.  That is why, brothers, we have had you go through a process of discernment, a discernment you have made but one that has ultimately been decided by the Church, that has brought you to this day.
“The Apostles also said these men must be filled with wisdom.  Wisdom, as we understand that gift of the Holy Spirit, is not just book learning or street smarts.  Wisdom is of God, and is God.  That is why there is a Book of Wisdom in the Scriptures.  It is a God-given ability to understand the Church, the Scriptures and the world according to the eyes and the plan of God.  That wisdom is the result of prayer, of the willingness to suffer for Christ, and of the joy that comes from hope for eternal life, not a seeking of this world’s goods.”
I thought about how this discernment and call is not just reserved for those who will become priests and deacons. This is something all Catholics should reflect upon. Especially as we accept God’s call to the sacraments whether it is to confession, confirmation, matrimony or holy orders. 
To be Catholic, to be a Christian person who seeks to live with Christ at the end of days, we should all consider our response not just to the sacraments but also to how we will conduct ourselves and care for our families, the earth we borrow to live out our lives upon and how we seek to save our very souls. Will  we respond like our young priests and our willing deacons? Will we give a resounding yes to God to serve Him? 
Bishop Malloy said, “It is a God-given ability to understand the Church, the Scriptures and the world according to the eyes and the plan of God.” 
Think of how the world could be if each and every one of us could respond to the call of God by saying “Yes, I want to understand the Church, the Scriptures and the world around me according to the eyes and the plan of God.”
Perhaps we could use these words as our prayer, our commission and our response to God’s call for us no matter what our vocation may be or what stage of life we may be in.