Holy Name Parish in Winfield, Kansas has never produced a vocation to the priesthood and hasn’t had a vocation to the religious life in recent years. But that isn’t stopping parishioners from praying and planning for one, or two, or more.
The parish has started what could be described as a college fund for the next young man who begins seminary work or the next young woman who enters the religious life.
Julie Toon, a convert of about seven years, said the parish will be hosting its third dinner Saturday, April 4, to raise money for their future vocation.
The dinner does two things, she said. “Not only will it help pay for books when they go to school or enter the religious life, it also increases awareness of vocations in the parish.”
The parish has been praying for vocations, Toon said, adding that the prayer and events, such as the dinner, help young men and women understand the parish’s support for religious vocations.
“We’re hoping by the time we have a vocation there will be enough money in the fund to help them out considerably,” she said.
Julie and her husband, Tim, are chairpersons of the prime rib dinner which will be held after the 5:30 p.m. Mass Saturday, April 4, in the parish. Several parishioners are acting as chefs for the event. A silent auction will also be held.
“The hallmark of this event is vocation awareness,” said Fr. Bernie Gorges, pastor of Holy Name. “And second to that is the fund.”
Father Gorges said he wants parishioners to understand that vocations to the priesthood and religious life come from normal families.
“We want parents to realize that vocations are possible in their own families,” he said.
Guest speakers will be Father Michael Simone, director of Vocations for the Diocese of Wichita, and Jim and Connie Armour, whose daughter is a nun.
Printed with permission from the Catholic Advance, newspaper from the diocese of Wichita.