Zooming Out on Vocations!

Written By Fr. Dominic Rankin | Introduction by Amber Cerveny

Our monthly vocation articles have talked about being one of the men in black! However, we have a new twist. As of July 1st we have a new kid on the block! Father Dominic Rankin. Father Rankin is one of the men in black and he has been added as one of the vocation directors, but his specialty is helping with the vocation to marriage and family life.  We think of vocations as a call to the priesthood or consecrated religious life and we forget that the call to be married is the same, a call by God to do His will for your life.  Father Rankin has a family who has certainly answered the call.  His parents are married and have 3 children. One, who answered the call to be married, one who answered the call to the consecrated religious life and of course Father Rankin, who answered the call to be a priest! Welcome to Father Rankin as he adds this important vocation message and joins in on the fun.

When people asked me when I was small “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, I sometimes said an engineer, more often than not that I wanted to be an astronaut, though eventually both of those fell away before the call growing in my heart to become a priest. BUT, now I know what I really wanted to be: a member of the vocations-bunch! 

I jest a bit, but I am stoked to be the newest member asked by Bishop Paprocki to join this ramshackle bunch of priests working on vocations.  Part of my excitement comes from the other guys that are part of the team: they are good fun, good friends, and good fellow priests, and it is a delight and a grace to be working with them.  Also, of course, having had the chance to see a lot of young people already around the diocese as I travel with Bishop for confirmations and things, I am excited to offer to all our youth my witness and words to help them find where the Lord might be calling them.  But, a final, particular reason that gets me amped up for this new mission-field, is the fact that by jumping into this role between the vocations office and the marriage and family office, I get a front row seat as we re-emphasize an important truth in our diocese: we need all the vocations – priesthood, consecrated-life, and marriage – in order to flourish as individuals, as a diocese, and across our world.  Scratch that, God has chosen to need those three vocations to bring His salvation to humanity!  Is that awesome or what?!

I do not know everything that this new component of my vocation entails, but I do know we need good, holy, strong marriages and families if we hope to have holy priestly and religious vocations.  I know that lasting, loving marriages are precisely the antidote to the disunity and rancor that face our society these days.  And, I know that for those many young people who are called to marriage, and all of you that are already living out that vocation, there is a joy and thrill to be found in following that call for you with your spouse, and I want to help in a small way making it possible for you to live out that divine kind of love. 

I am in this battle with you.  Let us rally behind Christ together!