Stewardship of Vocations

“Called by Name”
By Mila Glodava

On May 15, 2010, Mike Rapp  of the Archdiocese of Denver was one of five young men ordained to the priesthood by the Archbishop, and one of four whose vocations were fostered at St. Thomas More in Centennial Colorado.

A graduate of St. Thomas More Parish School, Mike was among 147 identified by fellow parishioners in 2002 as one who might have a vocation to the priesthood. Today, after many, many prayers and support from his family, friends and parishioners, Father Mike is serving as parochial vicar at St. Michael’s Parish in Craig, Colorado.

Of those identified in 2002, several others answered God’s call to serve as a priest in God’s vineyard. Of course, as Matthew 22:14 says, “Many are called but few are chosen.” Ronny O’Dwyer and Patrick Reidy chose to enter the seminary and are still in their religious formation. In his seventh year of Jesuit formation, Ronny has earned masters' degrees in philosophy and Catholic educational administration. Patrick, on the other hand, earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Notre Dame in 2008, and is entering his fourth year in religious formation with the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

Today, eight other seminarians and novices are in the Denver archdiocesan seminary or novitiates of various religious orders. They will be joining the 15 priests, 10 deacons, three sisters and one brother whose vocations were fostered at St. Thomas More. All of these religious vocations have led to serving the Church where called, even as far away as Kazakhstan.

Established in 1971, St. Thomas More Parish is blessed to be able to send young men and women to serve in Christ's Church. Yet we continue to pray and call people by name, because Luke 10:2 states, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”

Our annual stewardship of vocations weekend in November invites parishioners to identify someone whom they think might have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. This program evolved from a Serra Club vocations program entitled “I’m waiting to be asked.”  Yes, young men and women are waiting to be asked.

Thus, at St. Thomas More, we provide that opportunity to ask. During our annual stewardship of prayer weekend the entire community shares in identifying potential candidates to the priesthood and religious life. Remember what Jesus did. He identified and “called by name” the people who became his disciples, saying “Come, follow me.” We can’t beat that model.


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