COLORADO SPRINGS. Last January, hundreds of Catholic students in the Colorado Springs area converged on St. Mary’s High School for Embrace Vocations Day to learn more about discerning God’s will for their lives as they continue their faith journey. St. Mary’s is again hosting the diocesan-wide Embrace Vocations Day on Jan. 30, with this year’s theme being “Discernment and Calling: How Do I Live Out God’s Plan?”
All Catholic students in grades 5-12 are encouraged to attend Embrace, a free event. Students who are home-schooled or attend public school are asked to register for the day. The planning committee is also looking for adult volunteers to help with the day. Families and volunteers can register online at www.smhscs.org.
Embrace Vocations Day will begin at 7:45 a.m. for ninth- through 12th-grade students with prayer, followed by the first and second rotations in the schedule. Fifth- through eighth- grade students will arrive for Mass in the gym at 9 a.m., then continue through the rotations until mid afternoon.
Robyn Cross, Embrace planning committee member, said last year’s event showed that throughout the diocese there was an interest in devoting time to gaining better understanding of religious vocations. The day also supports Pope Francis’ call for vocational discernment.
“Given the diocesan-wide interest we had last year in last year’s Embrace event, this year we formed a committee of members from across the diocese to help plan Embrace 2018,” Cross said. “As a committee we’ve worked to keep the day in line with Pope Francis’s directive to focus this year on educating our youth on religious vocations.”
Pope Francis announced this year’s topic of “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment” for the 2018 Ordinary Synod of Bishops, which will occur later this year in October.
“In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness,” the Pope said in his statement. “Every Christian ought to grow in the ability to ‘read within’ his or her life, and to understand where and to what he or she is being called by the Lord, in order to carry on his mission.”
Through activities and speakers, Embrace 2018 will help students learn ways they can discern God’s call in their lives regardless of which Catholic vocation (single, married, or religious) they pursue. Students will also hear a variety of speakers — including priests and sisters — discuss how they embrace their Catholic identities in their vocations.
Embrace was a new event for St. Mary’s High School to host last year. However, similar events had been blessing the students at St. Peter Catholic School in Monument for the previous four years. Those events were spearheaded by Patti Morgan, whose daughter attended St. Peter and is now a sophomore at St. Mary’s.
Cross, Morgan, and the other members of the Embrace 2018 planning committee are excited to again bring this opportunity to the youth of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. Prayers from the community for the students and speakers are appreciated.
(Amy G. Partain is director of communications for St. Mary’s High School.)