Altar Call: “Do Not Be Afraid”

3,859 participants.

100 volunteers.

60 priests celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.

2,688 confessions heard.

God has incredible plans for each and every one of us, and it is our job to discern what those plans entail.

Matt Maher says it best, in a song that we sang early this morning:

“This is the first day of the rest of your life. ‘Cause even in the dark you can still see the light, it’s gonna be all right.”

This IS the first day of the rest of your life. Whether you entered this weekend with or without a relationship with God, now is the time to maintain this feeling of happiness and communion with Him. Don’t let the “retreat high” end the second you step out of the Q. Keep your grasp on it and always remember you can go deeper.

“Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain, that I can’t control. I want more of you, God” – Jesus Culture, Set a Fire

God has set a fire down in our souls this weekend and it is our job to maintain it and keep it ignited with faith and joy for when we need it most. With this fire, God is speaking to and trying to reach us, and it is our responsibility to listen and take part in His plan for us.

A very important part of this plan is asking yourself: “What is my vocation?”  The dictionary defines vocation as “a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career; a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.” Many associate a vocation as only a calling to priesthood or religious life; however this is not the case. A vocation applies to all forms of union that glorify God, including marriage and the single life. No vocation is better than any other; what is important is that we follow God’s plan for us!

What makes the discernment of vocations so special at Steuby is the altar call at the end of Mass. First, non-Catholics are invited to come forward to the altar if they are open to Baptism or to join the Catholic Church. Fr. Martin encouraged these people to continue talking with their youth minister or others in the parish to learn what steps they needed to take to join the Church at Easter Vigil. He promised the prayers of everyone present.

Then Fr.Martin and Sr. Miriam invited all young men and women who felt God tugging at their heart this weekend to consider a vocation to priesthood or the consecrated religious life. After each of the groups step forward, the entire arena turns to pray over them.

“The consecrated life thus becomes one of the tangible seals which the Trinity impresses upon history, so that people can sense with longing attraction of divine beauty.” – St. John Paul II, Vita Consecrata

The altar call is not necessarily a written or even verbal commitment to join the seminary or convent. It simply serves as a sign that you are open to God’s plan for you and willing to listen.

Wondering how you can communicate with God after Steuby? Lucky for you, he is reachable anytime and anywhere. Experiment with new ways to converse with him – Whether it’s through prayer, reading the Bible, or attending another retreat, God is always available to you. Therefore, it is YOUR choice to commit to maintaining this mutual relationship.

“Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory, God, is what our hearts long for to be overcome by Your presence, Lord.”  – Francesca Battistelli, Holy Spirit

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Written by Erika Olsen
My friends claim I speak in two different languages: English and Twitter. I'm a sophomore at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana studying Marketing and Political Science. I love retreats, Starbucks coffee, Parks and Recreation and am obsessed with holding various leadership positions! I'm from St. Louis, MO and serve on College Core at Ascension in Chesterfield.