This past Monday, I celebrated the feast of St. Dominic amidst truly joy-filled company. I traveled to Nashville to witness the final profession of vows of Sister Marie Celine Laird, a native of our diocese who is a member of the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Cecilia. She was by no means the first from our diocese to join this vibrant community of over 200 sisters. In fact, later this summer, Gaelyn Felix, a staffer at the central offices of the diocese, will be accepted as a postulant.
As Sister Marie Celine and nine others prostrated themselves this past Monday and made their final profession of vows, one could not but be struck by their powerful witness and surrender to the will of God, and specifically to the enduring call to religious life.
Just several days before, I celebrated Mass and attended a picnic for our diocesan seminarians and their families, sponsored by the Serra Club of Arlington and the local Knights of Columbus. By promoting vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, both the Serra Club and the Knights assist members of our diocese and the broader community to grow in a greater understanding and public witness of our Catholic faith. I am so grateful for their service to our diocesan Church.
Whether the Lord is calling us to the consecrated religious life, priesthood, married or single life, each of us shares a fundamental calling and commitment. The Lord calls each of us ? personally ? to holiness. Our response ? and our ongoing commitment to responding day after day ? comprises the core of our Catholic life. By committing ourselves totally, we open ourselves to the love and mercy of God.
Commitment and openness to God?s love is contagious. Just ask anyone who attended the final profession of vows this past Monday in Nashville. Just ask anyone who witnessed the ordination of our four new priests this past June at our Cathedral. Just ask anyone who witnesses the wedding vows of a man and woman completely committed to growing in holiness together. The joy and happiness at these sacred events is beyond words.
We have so much for which to be grateful. Join me in giving thanks to God for the vocation He has personally given to each of us and in praying for more vocations to the consecrated life and the priesthood.