What 'vocation' means
HIS year we have a special reason for remembering that the word 'vocation' has a wider application than the secular priesthood," said Bishop Beck of Salford in his pastoral letter on Sunday in which, besides appealing for the ecclesiastical education fund. he also referred to the Vocations Exhibition being held at Belle Vue, Manchester. from May 31 to June 7.
"God calls boys and girls, young men and young women. to serve Him in the religious life in a wonderful range of charitable activities," continued the bishop "Catholics and non-Catholics alike are impressed by the charity and selfless devotion of the brothers and sisters who care for the sick, the orphans. and handicapped children,
"Parents are deeply grateful to the teaching orders for the patient help they give to Catholic children. to enable them to grow in the knowledge and love of their religion. We are all impressed by the courageous work of the missionary orders throughout the world.
"We should remember, however, that the activities of these religious men and women are only the outward sign of something much deeper in the soul of every member of a religious order or congregation.
"A vocation to the religious life is first ahd foremost a vocation to the personal love of Our Blessed Lord and deep intimate union with him. The vows which are taken by all religious, both men and women, are vows of self-surrender to God and His love."