Answering God's Call at Any Stage of Life
Sometimes God's call comes years into another profession. After 26 years as comptroller with a firm in New York City, Sister Marie De La Trinité Siopongco, SSVM, USCCB's Assistant Secretary for the Committee on World Mission received that call. A religious vocation had never entered her mind previously, but "I never quibbled," she says now, "That's when I can affirm and confirm that God's grace is very powerful." In 2001, Sister Trinité professed vows to the community of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, a community founded in Argentina in 1988. Founded to evangelize the culture and in a family spirit, they pray together, share meals together, never lose contact with their families, and every Friday evening all 600+ members worldwide sit down for pizza dinners.
Sister Trinité and the rest of her convent, part of a vibrant and growing religious order, live right on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, leading youth activities and catechesis for low-income kids. On April 17, Catholics the world over will join together in offering prayers on World Day of Prayer for Vocations, praying that Catholics at any stage of life will be similarly graced with the courage to answer "yes" to God's call to the priesthood, the consecrated life and to missions.
For more information, contact Sister Marie De La Trinité Siopongco, SSVM at (202) 541-3147 or email@example.com.
Catholic-Jewish Marriages Address the Importance of Faith Traditions
The challenge of mixed marriage in American life, and how the communities are responding to its problems and possibilities, both for the couples and for the raising of children, is particularly apparent during the Easter and Passover seasons. With the mixed marriage rate rising to around 50 percent in the Jewish community and close to that in the Catholic community, the challenges of living out one's faith have become more acute. Many young couples may think that the religious issue will not be a problem, failing to appreciate how these matters may crop up later to present very difficult challenges. For example, many people begin to rediscover the importance of a faith tradition when they start having children. "Neither the Church nor the Jewish community encourages attempts to raise children in both traditions at once," Dr. Eugene Fisher of USCCB's Secretariat for Ecumenical Interreligious Affairs noted. "Rather, the ideal would be to raise the children solidly in one tradition, but with a knowledge of and respect for the other. Family get-togethers during the holidays can be particularly enriching times of learning and sharing for the families of both spouses, and for the children. It is important to respect the integrity of religious holydays."
For more information, contact Dr. Eugene Fisher at (202) 541-3020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.