Mass seeks to spur vocations

Archbishop Seán O’Malley celebrated ‘Vocation Sunday’ Oct. 12, welcoming and recognizing young people who participate in parish life and a dozen religious communities. Around 500 people attended the Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

The archdiocesan Vocation Office invited altar servers, choir members, Eucharistic ministers, lectors, greeters and peer ministers, from grade school to college, to be recognized for their service to the Church.

"The focus of the Mass was on vocations, in a particular way the call to holiness with a special focus on sacramental vocations--marriage, priesthood, diaconate and consecrated religious life," explained Father Oscar Pratt, director of the archdiocese's Vocation Office. Father Pratt concelebrated the Mass.

In his homily, Archbishop O’Malley told the young people that faith in God is most important in life, not money or fame. What the rich and famous attain does not last, stated the archbishop, but God endures and a life of holiness is what young people should strive for.

Speaking about the Gospel of the day, in which a rich young man asks Jesus what he must do to attain eternal life, the archbishop noted that the name of the “rich young man” is never mentioned. According to Father Pratt, the archbishop stated that the Bible names those throughout Church history, such as the saints, who answered God’s call. They were not rich and famous, he said, but are recognized by God for their faith. The rich young man who turned away from God will be known forever as simply “the rich young man.”

Father Pratt compared the archbishop’s message to the life of Mother Teresa, who will be beatified, named “blessed,” by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 19.

"She wasn't a rich woman and her fame had nothing to do with worldly ideals," stated Father Pratt. "It was her love for God and putting His name first, which is why she will be forever remembered."

Members of Mother Teresa’s order, the Missionaries of Charity, attended the Mass along with more than 10 other religious communities. Archbishop O’Malley congratulated the Missionaries of Charity on Mother Teresa’s upcoming beatification.

Father Pratt’s office organized the Mass, the first of its kind, to emphasize to young people God’s call to holiness and a life of service. Our vocation is “how we live that in our lives… how we respond to God’s invitation” he said.

The Mass is “to help people to recognize that [holiness and service] is what our lives are about no matter what the world puts in front of us… It’s our way as the whole Church of Boston to help them to understand and to light that flame, get the enthusiasm going in their lives and to know that they are to turn to the Holy Spirit for the courage and the strength to answer God in whatever way He is calling.”

A reception followed the Mass at which the religious communities displayed information on their orders for the youth.