By TARA CONNOLLY Staff writer
St. Joseph, Frackville hopes to highlight the need for more vocations with a crucifix that will journey from home to home of its more than 500 parishioners.
A Traveling Vocations Crucifix was blessed and commissioned April 22 in light of the 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations that was established to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.”
“Families of St. Joseph Parish are invited to participate in something very special,” said Carolyn Tenaglia, parish director of religious education.
“The need for vocations is real and this is a way that we can join with other Catholics in their prayer that God will open the minds and hearts of those he is calling to serve his Church.”
Tenaglia said the crucifix was purchased and the initiative was implemented into the life of parishioners as a daily reminder for the faithful to pray for vocations to the religious life and their own vocations.
The parishioner or parish family will have the crucifix in their home for one month. While the crucifix is present in their home, they will be committing to making a special effort to pray for vocations. When their month is finished, they will bring the crucifix back to Mass to pass it along to another parishioner or parish family to do the same.
“The Vocations Crucifix will remain in a home for one month at a time and will keep going as long as people request it. It’s our way to make an extra effort to raise vocation awareness in our homes and to increase our prayer effort for vocations,” she said.
“This program is perfect for single parishioner households, married couples or families,” said Tenaglia.
“Not only will we be offering additional prayers for vocations, but we will be raising awareness of vocations in our homes and families – perhaps planting the seeds of consideration in others. This will help us as we strive to build a culture of vocations as the Holy Father Pope Francis and Bishop Schlert have asked us to do.”
The crucifix is also a tangible tool for prayer and education about vocations, and for encouraging young people to think about where God might be calling them.
During his homily, Father Robert Finlan, pastor, asked all the faithful to contemplate God’s will for them, along with the call to holiness.
“We have a universal call to holiness. Our universal vocation is to be holy as our God is holy,” said Father Finlan.
He also asked families to take the time to mention the religious life as an option to young men and women.
“Put that invitation out to them to discern a life in the priesthood and the religious life as a viable call of God in their hearts,” he said.
After the Vocational Crucifix was blessed, Tenaglia said the faithful gathered to acknowledge the vocations of Father Finlan and Sister Patricia Weidman, chaplain at the Federal Correctional Institution Schuylkill.
To register to host the Vocational Crucifix, contact Carolyn Tenaglia, 570-874-2093 or email Carolyn or call the parish office, 570-874-0610.