.- A soon-to-be ordained priest noted that mothers serve an irreplaceable role in society. He reflected on his own mother's influence in discerning his call to the priesthood.
“It is so important we honor motherhood today because to be a mother is a beautiful vocation and gift from God,” said 26-year-old Deacon Craig Clinch, who will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska on May 28.
As the nation celebrates Mother's Day on May 8, Deacon Clinch recalled how his own mother's faith helped foster in him a deep willingness to serve God in whatever capacity.
“I remember my mom bringing me to daily Mass as a small child and how she would remind us to pray the Rosary in the car on longer trips – she still does today,” he told CNA in a May 6 interview.
“She helped me in discerning my vocation to the priesthood in that she was supportive from the beginning.”
Deacon Clinch said that along with teaching him how to pray, “my parents taught me to be open to God’s will, to say yes whether He was calling me to the priesthood or to be a husband and father.”
“They showed me the beauty of these two vocations both through their own marriage and through their great respect and love for priests and the priesthood.”
The deacon reflected on the invaluable contribution that mothers give to the world, saying that they “cooperate most intimately in bringing forth life and they fulfill an essential role in forming who we are.”
“I think we tend to forget the significance of the mother’s vocation in our society where the focus is oftentimes career-oriented,” he added.
“The question is asked, 'what do I want to do with my life, how can I be successful,' rather, than asking the question, 'who is God calling me to be?'”
“While being a 'stay at home mom' might be difficult in some families due to economic circumstances, we must not let the opinion rule that being a full-time mom is somehow second best.”
Deacon Clinch noted that “being a full-time mom is a great and beautiful calling and the responsibilities and rewards of bringing up children to love and serve God and one another are better than any career could offer.”
The soon-to-be priest offered his encouragement to today's mothers, who often give of themselves to a heroic extent, yet at times are under appreciated.
“In the moments where you experience challenges and difficulties in your families and in your lives as a mother, remember the graces Jesus continues to offer you in the Sacrament of Marriage and remember to draw near to Him in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance,” he said.
“Remember the Lord is calling you to be a saint through your motherhood and to help those He has entrusted to your care, your husband and your children, to become saints too.”
“All of us, but especially mothers, can look to our Blessed Mother for prayers, help, and encouragement in their vocation,” Deacon Clinch added.
“The Blessed Virgin Mary shows us how we are to respond to the Father’s will, with a complete and total yes from the beginning of life to the end of our earthly pilgrimage.”