Today the Diocese of Knoxville begins the “Called by Name” program.  “Called by Name” is a three-week process where we, as a diocese, reflect on the vocations of service within the Church – priesthood, religious and diaconate.  During this process every parish, school and university center will pray for an increase in vocations and from within our own communities recommend and encourage men and women who might have a vocation to a life of christian service. 

What might one look for in candidates for the priesthood, diaconate and religious life?  Here are some suggestions to consider:

  • A growing prayer life and relationship with God
  • An ability to articulate faith and principles of the Christian life in ones own words
  • An awareness of the value of Christian community, a willingness to operate as a member of community and the ability to interact with people of all ages
  • An ability to maintain healthy friendships with men and women
  • A willingness to live out of an option for the poor and those who are most in need
  • A respect for different cultures
  • The distinction of being a real church person who accepts and lives out the teachings and morals of the Church

Bishop Stika has written a prayer to be said throughout our diocese these three weeks, it is found below and I encourage us all to make it part of our daily prayer. 

A prayer for the increase of priestly and religious vocations
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Eternal Father, Son of the Virgin Mary, we thank you for offering Your life in sacrifice on the cross and for renewing this sacrifice in every Mass celebrated throughout the world.
In the power of the Holy Spirit we adore You and proclaim Your living presence in the Eucharist. We desire to imitate the love you show us in Your death and resurrection, by loving and serving one another.
We ask You to call many young people to religious life and to provide the holy and generous priests who are so needed in your church today.
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.