Vocations awareness is not new to me, but it never crossed my mind that I would be as involved as I am now in supporting a culture of vocations in my parish, especially from 6844 miles away from home. I was raised in a faithful Catholic family and community where being surrounded by bishops, priests, seminarians, and religious was the norm. I wanted to commit my life to the Lord, but I was not chosen to be a nun. As I pursued my dream to become a dentist and prayed for guidance to do the Lord’s will, I discerned that the ministry of supporting vocations is my calling.
I was only in charge of the altar server ministry before I became the Liturgy Coordinator at St. Pius X Parish in Beaverton, where I am currently working. I have enjoyed becoming friends with a lot of the altar servers, seminarians, and senior priests in our parish. I also joined the Serra Club, which strengthened my inspiration to lead my parish’s annual participation in National Vocation Awareness Week.
While organizing the parish events, I noticed that some of our parishioners and friends were learning that different vocations exist. They began praying for them. Some people started attending ordinations for the first time. They gave more generously to a wide variety of efforts to support our seminarians and priests.
My favorite parts of promoting a culture of vocations are introducing the vocation prayer in my parish after the Saturday morning Mass, as well as training and taking care of our altar servers. In St. Pius X, the altar server ministry is one of the most active. The parents are very supportive, which aids the success of the ministry. Not every priest or religious was an altar server, but this ministry has proven to be a source of religious and priestly vocations. Many who serve are led to a deeper faith, understanding, and reverence for the Eucharist.
I want to support vocations in the way God wants me to get involved and not just for my personal fulfillment. Vocation ministry has led me into the lives of God’s future priests, religious brothers, and sisters. I am so thankful for my pastor, Fr. Sean Weeks, our priests in the Archdiocese, our seminarians, my parish community, and friends who participate in promoting vocations.
For those who want to support vocations in their parish, I would suggest that you connect with your pastor and vocation committee to organize prayer and events. If a committee is not available, connect with the Serra Club to begin one. Let us ask God in prayer, to walk with us in helping our sons and daughters to answer what Gods wants for them.
Melliza P Palazo
Liturgy Coordinator/ Vocation Co-Chair=
St. Pius X Catholic Church
Serra Club of Portland