Our conference started with Mass and ended with a Mass. But it doesn’t really end – at least it doesn’t have to.
During Bishop Rice’s homily, he encouraged us to make a resolution so that the blessings of the weekend will stay with us and make a difference in our lives at home. Some young people made a very specific and powerful resolution this weekend: to be open to the call of religious life.
Fr. Brian Fallon first spoke to the men, “Some of you guys here might be called to be a priest… maybe… who knows?” He asked those who felt called to come forward so we could pray with them. As the men came down from their seats, Adam Bitter led the crowd in a prayerful refrain, “Everything that I am, everything I long to be, I lay it down at your feet.” He said, “What you are saying by being up here today is that you are willing to allow the Lord to lead you to the next step. And that can’t be something that just stays here in Springfield. You gotta bring it home.” He encouraged the men to talk to their parish priest or vocation director when they get home. He told the men to text “Vocations” to 84576. The whole arena extended their hands as Bishop Rice led them in prayer before they all went back to their seats.
Fr. Fallon next called the women up. “Maybe God is inviting you to be His bride, to be women of faith who go out and bring people closer to Jesus?” He invited them to come up for prayers. Sr. Mary Elizabeth, a Carmelite sister, led the prayer over the women, reminding them, “this is just a seed” and said, “If He is calling you to follow Him as His bride, He needs hands and feet. He needs spiritual mothers to quench the thirst of the world.”
Both groups were encouraged & affirmed for their bravery in coming forward by hearty applause from everyone in the Spirit-filled arena.
What is God calling you to do after this weekend? Is there a small resolution you can make? Don’t let the blessings from the weekend go to waste. Bring it home with you!
“God’s love is indeed a harsh and demanding thing, but it is worth giving one’s whole life.” – Dorothy Day
“Do not be afraid to respond to the call of Christ.” – Bishop Rice
“He doesn’t chose you because you are worthy, He chooses you because He is worthy.” – Sr. Mary Elizabeth