WEST HAVEN — For almost eight years Saint Mary Parish in West Haven has been sponsoring a Vocation Awareness Night.
This year, the religious education students of the parish and anyone who is interested will have the opportunity to hear, ask questions and learn from diocesan priests and members of various religious orders on Monday, Nov. 19.
During the evening, which will be hosted by Father Gustavo Vidal, the parish pastor, the attendees will hear from a parish priest and representatives from various religious orders: the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), the Discalced Carmelite nuns, the Sisters of St. Benedict, and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
“A panel of about eight priests and religious from the diocese will be available, and each one of them will give their testimony of why they followed a vocation to the priesthood and religious life,” said Donna Masek, a St. Mary parishioner who organizes the evening.
In attendance will be students in the religious education classes from grades three through high school, “and anyone else that would like to come and learn more about vocations to the priesthood and religious life is more than welcome,” Masek said.
After the speakers take turns sharing their stories, the floor will be opened for a Q&A session. Fr. Vidal will moderate questions from the audience, and the panel participants will respond to the queries.
“Anyone who is interested in learning more about the priestly or religious life is welcome to come,” said Masek. “As we’ve extended it to a larger audience, we have had individuals who come that weren’t in our parish but in our diocese, who were seriously discerning a possible call to the consecrated life. We’re happy to be an instrument in that process for them.”
At the end of the night, people who are interested in asking additional questions will be able to approach the priests or sisters and ask them directly.
“They will pray with them and also more privately ask them questions and can ask them to help them discern their vocation,” Masek said.
“Additionally, we invite parents, parishioners, youth groups and anyone else that would like to avail themselves of this unique learning experience to come,” said Masek, who hopes that people contemplate the importance of seeing and experiencing priestly and religious vocations firsthand.
WHAT: Vocation Awareness Night
WHEN: Monday, Nov. 19, 7-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: St. Mary Catholic Church, 4050 South 3900 West, West Haven
The event is free and open to the public. For information, call 801-898-3821 or visit www.stmarysutah.org.