Religious Vocations

Diocese of Cleveland

Types of Vocations

Vowed Religious Life and Consecrated Life

  • A vowed religious makes a public profession to follow Jesus and the Gospel. The profession of the Evangelical Counsels – the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, allows a vowed religious to live a life centered on Jesus Christ. Dedicating themselves in a religious community through prayer and service they strive to become holy and witness to that life of grace.
  • Those in the Consecrated Life, Secular Institute, or Societies of Apostolic Life are consecrated to live the Evangelical Counsels in the world. They commit themselves to poverty, chastity, and obedience by sacred bonds and observe among themselves the communion and fellowship appropriate to their “particular secular way of life.

Married Life – A couple’s unconditional, exclusive, everlasting love for each other reflects God’s infinite love for us. It also is a symbol of Christ’s love for his Church. The love between a man and woman is a sign of our ultimate union with God. Through their love for each other and their love for their children, married people show love for God and become holy. Their love provides support for other Church members.

Ordained Life – Priests are men called by the Church to serve God’s people by acting in the person of Christ to build up and lead the Church. They preach the Gospel, celebrate Holy Mass, and provide pastoral care. As they carry on the ministry of Jesus, they can develop their unique friendship with him. Deacons are men called by the Church to be living signs of the servant aspect of the Church, ordained to proclaim and live the Gospel. They administer the Sacraments in the parishes, assist at Mass, baptize, witness marriages, and preside at wakes and funerals. Deacons must be at least thirty-five years of age and may be married. However, if their wife dies, they may not remarry.

Single Life – People who are committed to being single have the personal freedom and opportunity to love God and serve others without the natural obligations to family or community. Their solitude and pastoral service enrich the other vocations as well as the members of the Church. In this they witness that “No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone.'” (CCC 1658)

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