Order of Preachers (Dominicans) of Trinidad and Tobago.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
The Vocabulary of Vocation
The Language of Vocation
In the world of vocation many words are used with unfamiliar means leaving one at times to guess the meaning of these words. This article aims to demystify the language of Vocation Promotion. Enjoy!
Vocation: Vocation means a call. It is God’s invitation, His call
to each person to love and serve Him and His Church in a particular state
or way of life. Each person's vocation flows from the grace of
Discernment: When talking about discovering your vocation,
discernment means the process of that discovery through prayer, reflection and discussion as to how God
calls each person to love Him, whether as a priest, a consecrated religious man
or woman, a married person or a consecrated single person.
Brother: Brothers live in religious communities. They take
vows and promise to use their talents to serve God wherever the community
decides they are needed. Brothers are not ordained.
Charism: Each religious community has a charism or unique
way of returning God's love to Him and His people which manifests a particular
attribute of God's being.
Apostolate: The type of work or mission of the order through
which their particular charism is lived out.
Consecrated Life: A permanent state of life recognized by
the Church, entered freely in response to the call of Christ to the perfection
of love and characterized by the making of public vows of poverty, chastity and
Laity: People within the Church including religious brothers
and sisters as well as all other single and married person who are not ordained
as bishop, priests or deacons are known as the laity or the lay faithful.
Secular Institute: Single lay men and women, and also some
priests, belong to secular institutes. They make a commitment to live the
evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. Members do not
necessarily live together as a community. Their goal is to be a transforming
presence in society.
Holy Orders: The Sacrament by which the mission entrusted by
Christ to His Apostles continues to be excercised in the Church through the
laying on of hands. By receiving Holy Orders men become members of the ordained
clergy - deacons, priests and bishops. All three confer a permanent, sacramental
character on the man who is ordained.
Permanent Deacon: A degree of the Sacrament of Holy Orders,
after bishop and priest. The permanent deacon is ordained for ministry, but not
to the priesthood. He assists and preaches at Mass, baptizes and presides at
weddings and funerals. They have jobs outside the Church to make a living. Men
at least 35 years of age, married or single, may be ordained permanent
Transitional Deacon: Men who are called to the priesthood
who are in the final stage of formation before being ordained as priests. They
receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and usually serve as deacons for one year
before ordination to
the priesthood. During their year as a deacon they continue their studies and
serve in parish assignments.
Priest: A man is ordained to priesthood through the
Sacrament of Holy Orders. Together each man and the Church discern (discover)
whether or not he is called to become a priest. Diocesan priests a called to
serve the people of a particular diocese. Men called to be priests in religious
orders belong to communities and in addition to receiving the Sacrament of Holy
Orders they also take vows of poverty, chastity and odedience (the three
Religious Life: Priests, brothers or sisters living in
communities that embrace the spirituality, charism and teachings of the
community’s founder call their way of life religious life. Members of these
communities follow Jesus through taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
They grow in holiness through their gift of themselves to God and His
Religious Community: The founder of a religious community
brings together a group of men or women who share the same charism and are
dedicated to the same mission in the Church. These are religious communities of
priests and brothers and communities of sisters. The apostolates of the
communities vary according to their mission. Those dedicated primarily to prayer
are contemplative communities; those who combine prayer with apostolic
ministries are called active communities.
Postulant: The first formal stage of becoming a consecrated
religious is called a postulant. The postulancy stage usually takes six months
to a year.
Novice: A man or woman in the second formal stage of
becoming a consecrated religious is called a novice. This stage of the novitiate
usually takes one to two years.
Sister: Sisters belong to religious communities and are
brides of Christ who are chosen by Him to love Him and serve His Church like His
Mother Mary as virgins and spiritual mothers. They serve the Church in whatever
ways their superiors decide is best given their talents and inclinations.
Nun: Nuns are sisters and brides of Christ who are called by
Him to pray and serve the needs of the Church in a more hidden way. They live in
cloistered communities and do not leave their convents for any outside
Vows: Formal commitments made to God to follow Jesus in His
poverty, chastity and obedience as members of religious communities.By the vow
of poverty the members hold all things in common. The community takes care of
each other’s needs through the providence of God and their our charity. The vow
of chastity means that the member gives up the goods of marriage and marital
relations for the sake of God’s kingdom. The vow of obedience allows the member
of the community to imitate and share in Jesus’ obedience to His Father in order
to accomplish His will. (Diocesan priests live the spirit of the counsels by
promising to live in celibate chastity, obedience to their bishop and a simple
We hope the you would more aware of these terms used in the promotion of vocation.