Vocations Corner Celebrates Past, Present, Future Vocations
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 19, 2023
CRYSTAL LAKE—“The idea was to have an ‘interactive’ vocations corner,” says Father Robert Jones, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, explaining that there is “a nice supply of materials on vocations” as part of the corner wall display near the Oak Street church’s south entrance outside the sacristy.
Seminarian Ian Ordoñez came up with the idea and, with some help from the parish maintenance staff, saw it through to completion this past summer.
“I was very impressed by not only Ian’s idea, but how he followed through and made it happen while he was on his summer assignment,” Father Jones says. “He had a number of ministerial tasks this summer in both the Anglo and Hispanic faith communities.  We are blessed to have Ian continue his connections with us as he is here for ministry a couple of weekends each month.”
Identifying a vocation as “a supernatural calling by the Lord Himself to follow Him in a radical way,” Ordoñez wrote in the parish bulletin that “every unmarried Christian man and woman should make the time and should find the silence to pray, that is to listen, to see if the gentle voice of the Lord is calling them to this radical witness, this radical self-gift.”
The St. Thomas Vocations Wall that he envisioned and created features portraits of men and women from St. Thomas Parish who listened and heard a call, and who became priests and religious sisters. Under each portrait is their name and a prayer card — some coming from the individuals, while others have a general vocation card. Either way, the hope is to encourage prayers for them.
“There are also several empty (frames) up on that wall, and this is for a reason,” Ordoñez wrote, calling the currently unmarried young men and women of the parish to “imagine your portrait up on that wall, imagine yourself taking the hand of our Lord and following Him in a radical way … after doing this, I invite you to go into the adoration chapel and sit in silence and listen. Make the chapel your home away from home and use the vocational pamphlets/booklets if they help but make time and find the silence.”
As a prayer card in the display of vocation materials states in part: “Please help me discover Your plan for my life. Help me to know myself. Help me to overcome my fears. Help me to want what you want. Help me to trust You completely … Mary Most Holy Mother of God, pray for me, that I can discover my vocation and have the courage to respond in faith.
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