Nov 8 – Vocation Awareness Week
This is National Vocation Awareness Week for the Catholic Church in the United States. Resurrection Elementary School, part of the Holy Family Catholic Schools System here in Dubuque invited religious brothers and sisters, along with some seminarians, to speak to the students about vocations. Br. Joseph agreed to represent our community. He spoke for about 10 minutes to kindergarten, 1st grade, and 4th grade students. He shared a little about himself, his decision to follow God in a religious vocation, and his life with us at New Melleray. Afterwards, he said a highlight of the experience for him was the song of blessing that the students prayed over him at the conclusion of the day.
from Constitutions and Statutes of the Monks and Nuns of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance:
C.31: Apostolate of Monks
Fidelity to the monastic way of life is closely related to zeal for the Kingdom of God and for the salvation of the whole human race. Monks bear this apostolic concern in their hearts. It is the contemplative life itself that is their way of participating in the mission of Christ and his Church and of being part of the local church. This is why they cannot be called upon to render assistance in the various pastoral ministries or in any external activity, no matter how urgent the needs of the active apostolate.
When pastoral assistance is sought from the monastery in particular circumstances the abbot, if he judges it expedient to agree to the request, should entrust this ministry to a brother who is competent and willing to undertake the task.