WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
Sunday, April 26th is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It is very important that we pray for vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and to marriage. In addition to prayer, it is also essential that we help young people discover God’s call on their life through being a disciple of Jesus Christ. God created us with specific gifts and talents and He knows what will give us the greatest joy and peace in life through serving others, whether in the priesthood, consecrated life, dedicated single life, or marriage. Discipleship means to follow Christ, to listen to Christ, to seek Christ, to love Christ. There are four keys words that help us to live out “discipleship: prayer, conscience, the moral life and mission.
Prayer: Prayer is falling in love with Jesus Christ. It is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, in which we grow in that love with Him and His love for us. Who would ever commit to a lifelong marriage or become a priest or religious for some abstract philosophy? That kind of prayer changes no one. What shapes a marriage is when a married couple is able to say to one another, “As much as I love you, I love God more.” When a married couple falls in love with God, in a life of dialogue, of listening, then the beauty of what we call the “spiritual life” blossoms.
Conscience: What does it mean to follow my conscience? We live in a world today in which people say, “I follow my own conscience. I don’t think my parents, or the Church, or anyone should tell me what to do.” St. John Newman, a Cardinal in the 1800’s in England, wrote “We have the Englishman who says, ‘I will follow my conscience. Whatever I see is right, that is what is right for me.’ That is not conscience! That is selfwill.” Conscience means: “I have my preferences, but I say, ‘Father, what have You revealed as Your plan? Jesus, what is your will for me?” We discover God’s will in many of ways, but mainly through reading and pondering Scripture. Conscience as a Catholic and as a Christian means I take seriously what the Lord reveals to us through the Scriptures, through the Catechism, through the teachings of the Church for over 2000 years. We don’t say, “I take this, I toss that out.” If we are going to live a life of discipleship there has to be that life of prayer and falling in love with God. There has to be conscience formation in which we listen to and conform our thinking to what God has revealed as His teaching, as His truth – not redefine it, but to live according to it.
The moral life: this means I take the teachings of the Church seriously and I live them; in my thoughts, my feelings, and my desires. There needs to be a consistency between what I believe and what I practice. We live in a world today in which there are more and more people say, “I will not get married in the Church; I will live a life of cohabitation.” They ignore a teaching that comes to us straight from Scripture itself, from Jesus Christ Himself. It is impossible to live a life of discipleship if our moral life is in contradiction to what God teaches.
Mission: There is a mission that God has for us: for our career, and for our state in life – married, single, a priest, or a religious. Spiritual maturity is when we realize we are not masters of our own life, but stewards. It is beautiful to hear young people say, “When I pray, I realize that my life has been given to me by God. I have preferences and things I would like to do, but I know that these are not of upmost importance.
The most important question is what God wants of me, realizing this will ultimately bring true joy.” A spiritually mature person says, “It is not my life. I want to give myself to God completely and I am listening to His call.” We can see a spiritual maturity when we hear a married couple or a couple preparing for marriage say, “We really want to live according to that which Christ is calling us. And that means we want to pray together, grow in our faith, and also make spiritually mature choices about sexuality and family planning.”
When a young person says, “I feel that I’m being led to be a teacher, a doctor or a farmer,” then there is an obvious spiritual maturity operating because they understand their life not as “master” but as “steward.” They only come to this level when they ask the deeper question of stewardship, of discipleship, in which they say, “Lord, what is it that You want of me? Do You want me to be a priest or a consecrated person, a religious sister or brother? Do You want me to be married? Do you want me to be single?”
Let us keep young people in our daily prayers, that with great courage and humility, they will choose to be disciples of Jesus Christ and seek to know His plan for their lives. We can trust that our prayers will be answered.
From the Diocese of La Crosse Office of Catechesis
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FROM THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE
Thank you for your interest in Prairie Catholic Schools. St. Gabriel’s campus is our elementary school, and encompasses grades Pre-K though 4th, and St. John’s campus is our middle school which entails grades 5th through 8th. Additionally, on-site daycare is available at the St. Gabriel’s campus.
We know that choosing the right education for your child is one of the most important decisions you face. The entire staff at Prairie Catholic appreciates the fact that you are willing to consider our school, and wish you to know that this is greatly appreciated. The education of our youth is an honor and a great responsibility that we do not take lightly.
A Catholic school offers a unique environment with very special opportunities for its students to grow spiritually. Prairie Catholic is no different. Our setting allows educators to share their faith and values while educating their students, your children. We are committed to helping children grow in faith and love and to display respect and fellowship. Prairie Catholic does not discriminate based on faith and includes many non-Catholic families. These families appreciate our caring, student-centered environment that teaches children to follow Christ’s command to love one another and treat others with respect.
Prairie Catholic provides a strong academic curriculum and a safe learning environment for students to reach their greatest potential. We support each child by recognizing his or her own talents and instilling an appreciation for the gifts of others. This atmosphere fosters a mutual respect for one another.
We encourage, and are committed to, a cooperative partnership between family and school. We seek to work with you as parents, in helping your child become the best they can be. We believe in the mutual relationship of school supporting family and family supporting school.
At Prairie Catholic, we are positive people – learning, loving and living our faith. We aspire to create a place where your child is safe, happy and knows they are special.
We would love to discuss further the opportunities we can offer your child. Please call us for a personal tour at:
(608) 326-8624 (St. Gabriel’s)
(608) 326-4400 (St. John’s)
Principal, Prairie Catholic Schools
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