Please Insert Fr. Boehling's picture here
Michael Boehling Vicar for Vocations
Sometimes the Lord will go out of his way
to get your attention! In the spring of 1999, well
before entering the seminary, I joined a group of nearly
forty young adults from around the Diocese of Richmond
on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi. What I thought was
going to be vacation turned out to be, in reality, a
discovery of my true vocation. . . .
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Msgr. Walter Barrett Holy Rosary parish, Richmond
Two events come to mind
when I reflect on my initial call, or interest in
priesthood. In elementary school (Van de Vyver Catholic
School) the Franciscan Sisters would ask every so often,
certainly twice a year ,"How many of you are interested
in becoming priests?" With this simple question, the
idea had been planted.
What watered the idea? Mass (at St. Joseph Catholic
Church on First Street). The sense of the sacred during
Mass captured my childhood imagination. However, the
ministry of religious women and men who enjoyed their
calling as sisters and priests, was the nudge I needed.
I found it fascinating that men and women loved God and
other people enough to give their lives in total
service. I wanted this for me!
Finally, I found myself drawn to three other factors:
the pastoral ministry of a particular priest, the love
of one priest for Jesus, the people served, and
the Mother of Christ. That women and men would give up
having their own biological family to serve Christ and
his family in the Church--this utter dedication I
experienced in the lives of several religious women and
priests--was the nudge I needed to study for the
Which is your Vocation?
There are moments in our lives when we get the sense
that Jesus is nearby, and he is looking at us with profound love. There
are moments when we feel called to make decisions that will shape our
lives. There are moments when we have a feeling that Jesus is very close,
and he is whispering his ancient invitation to us today: Follow
me! How will you follow him? Might he be calling you to service
in the Church? Use the information here to understand better the different
ways in which the Church can help you channel your gifts and talents for
the service of others.
Men and Women