Callings within marriage


#1

I don't know if this is the right place for this question.

Other than parenthood, are there other specific callings within marriage? If God does not bless a couple with children (yet or at all), or once a couple are empty-nesters with no grandkids nearby, is there something specific that the Lord may be calling that couple to?

I know some people feel a calling to a specific type of job field, or they may be called to move somewhere specific, or of course they are called to a religious or married vocation. But what about when married vocation doesn't seem so obvious as "parenthood"?

I imagine the same could be asked of single folks who have not discerned a call either to married or religious vocation.

In high school, I had considered becoming a missionary nun. I was fascinated by Mother Theresa. Unfortunately, I was discouraged by my family from the idea of a religious vocation, so it never got more of my time. Then of course I met and married my wonderful husband, so perhaps that answers the question of what vocation I was called into.

I am not a very social person, not good with business or healthcare. My niche is teaching and writing, planning and organizing. I do better working alone than in a group.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.


#2

[quote="anilorak13ska, post:1, topic:293144"]
I don't know if this is the right place for this question.

Other than parenthood, are there other specific callings within marriage? If God does not bless a couple with children (yet or at all), or once a couple are empty-nesters with no grandkids nearby, is there something specific that the Lord may be calling that couple to?

I know some people feel a calling to a specific type of job field, or they may be called to move somewhere specific, or of course they are called to a religious or married vocation. But what about when married vocation doesn't seem so obvious as "parenthood"?

I imagine the same could be asked of single folks who have not discerned a call either to married or religious vocation.

In high school, I had considered becoming a missionary nun. I was fascinated by Mother Theresa. Unfortunately, I was discouraged by my family from the idea of a religious vocation, so it never got more of my time. Then of course I met and married my wonderful husband, so perhaps that answers the question of what vocation I was called into.

I am not a very social person, not good with business or healthcare. My niche is teaching and writing, planning and organizing. I do better working alone than in a group.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

[/quote]

Every Parish needs dedicated, Faithful people to teach the Catechism to adults and children alike.

There are many ministries... but that one jumped out as an excellent blend of the Churches most pressings needs with the skills you offered.


#3

Funny thing, I will be teaching Catechism this fall... though it hardly sounds like enough - it's a once-weekly class, for crying out loud. Thanks:)


#4

If you live close enough to a monastery or convent...perhaps you could become an oblate.


#5

[quote="marian_love, post:4, topic:293144"]
If you live close enough to a monastery or convent...perhaps you could become an oblate.

[/quote]

Hmmm, I honestly don't know what an oblate is, but I suspect this is an option for me as our parish is a Franciscan parish... thanks for this suggestion, I will look into it for sure.


#6

[quote="anilorak13ska, post:3, topic:293144"]
Funny thing, I will be teaching Catechism this fall... though it hardly sounds like enough - it's a once-weekly class, for crying out loud. Thanks:)

[/quote]

Oh my goodness, but what could be more important than transmitting the faith to another person? Once a week, twice a week, four times a week, every day of the week - it doesn't matter. The task itself is huge.

My parish priest asked that I do the same - his suggested age group was 7-10 years old - and the only reason I turned the opportunity down is my relatively poor command of the local language (I'm an expat). My "no" isn't a definite no, more of a "not yet." Still, I was touched that this priest thinks my knowledge and understanding of the faith is both orthodox and thorough enough to entrust me with passing it on to others. I wish I could say yes right now, but I know I can't.

None of this is to say that there aren't other callings for you and your husband. I simply ask you to consider that if this is all there is at the moment, then it just could be, for now, enough. :)


#7

[quote="UpUpAndAway, post:6, topic:293144"]
Oh my goodness, but what could be more important than transmitting the faith to another person? Once a week, twice a week, four times a week, every day of the week - it doesn't matter. The task itself is huge.

My parish priest asked that I do the same - his suggested age group was 7-10 years old - and the only reason I turned the opportunity down is my relatively poor command of the local language (I'm an expat). My "no" isn't a definite no, more of a "not yet." Still, I was touched that this priest thinks my knowledge and understanding of the faith is both orthodox and thorough enough to entrust me with passing it on to others. I wish I could say yes right now, but I know I can't.

None of this is to say that there aren't other callings for you and your husband. I simply ask you to consider that if this is all there is at the moment, then it just could be, for now, enough. :)

[/quote]

Thank you :) I'm a bit nervous. I've taught 2nd grade catechism when I was an undergrad but only for a couple of months. This time I asked to be placed with middle schoolers preparing for Confirmation. I went through the classes with my younger brother and I was shocked that there was a self-proclaimed atheist in the class and yet no one intervened and just let her be confirmed anyway. This was all high school kids. So ever since then, I've thought that maybe I could challenge the kids to really understand why they want to be confirmed. I don't think they should do it just because they've reached the minimum age requirement or their parents tell them to.

In the fall, my husband and I are going to run an ad in our bulletin again hoping to start a support group for childless couples. We'll see about opening up to other parishes as well, bc we had no takers in the spring. We really want to be able to help others going through infertility, but in a Catholic environment. There's a group called RESOLVE that is always looking for volunteers, but they require you to be positive about any and every possible solution out there :blush:


#8

Sounds like your parish could certainly use your talents in some capacity.


#9

I guess I'm just too impatient. Usually, when it rains it pours. I go through times like now where I have too much time on my hands, and then everything falls together and I get a bit overwhelmed. I should learn to just be where I am and quit trying to always change my situation.


#10

[quote="anilorak13ska, post:7, topic:293144"]
Thank you :) I'm a bit nervous. I've taught 2nd grade catechism when I was an undergrad but only for a couple of months. This time I asked to be placed with middle schoolers preparing for Confirmation. I went through the classes with my younger brother and I was shocked that there was a self-proclaimed atheist in the class and yet no one intervened and just let her be confirmed anyway. This was all high school kids. So ever since then, I've thought that maybe I could challenge the kids to really understand why they want to be confirmed. I don't think they should do it just because they've reached the minimum age requirement or their parents tell them to.

[/quote]

That you are nervous is totally normal. From what you say, however, it sounds like you're a natural for this job. What you've asked to do is very, very important. I too sometimes think children get confirmed because everyone they know is getting confirmed, or because their parents have left them no choice. I think it's important for aspiring confirmands to ask themselves if they actually want to be confirmed. Not every catechism teacher encourages the kids to reflect upon this, but I believe they all should.

In truth, I am a little jealous you're able and willing to do this. I am willing; I wish I were able. If I commit to this, I'm in for the entire school year and I just don't think my French will hold up that long. :blush:

[quote="anilorak13ska, post:7, topic:293144"]
In the fall, my husband and I are going to run an ad in our bulletin again hoping to start a support group for childless couples. We'll see about opening up to other parishes as well, bc we had no takers in the spring. We really want to be able to help others going through infertility, but in a Catholic environment. There's a group called RESOLVE that is always looking for volunteers, but they require you to be positive about any and every possible solution out there :blush:

[/quote]

I'm glad to see that you and your husband are planning to go forward with this despite the lack of response you've gotten so far. I will be praying for you. :)

[quote="anilorak13ska, post:9, topic:293144"]
I guess I'm just too impatient. Usually, when it rains it pours. I go through times like now where I have too much time on my hands, and then everything falls together and I get a bit overwhelmed. I should learn to just be where I am and quit trying to always change my situation.

[/quote]

I know the feeling! Just about everything in my parish shuts down in July and August because so many people are on vacation. Since my pastor went on his own vacation over three weeks ago, I've mostly been twiddling my thumbs. Thank God he'll be back on Thursday - I always have something to do when he's around. (As a surprise to welcome him home - and to occupy some of my abundant free time - I'm pulling weeds in the garden in front of the rectory. It probably hadn't been weeded since last frost at least, which would have been in March, so it was a real mess when I began but it's looking a lot better now. I've never seen so many foot-wide dandelions in my life. Some of the things I've pulled out of there were as tall as I am! One of our six other priests lives next door to the rectory and he told me Fr. B is going to be delighted that someone did this work. :yeah_me: I'm a terrible gardener, but I've actually enjoyed the task. There's a lavender patch in the center of the garden that's in full bloom right now and it smells sooooooo good! But I digress.) Come September, however, I'll probably have so much to do I won't know where to find the time to accomplish it all. :juggle:

[quote="Tampa_Dave, post:8, topic:293144"]
Sounds like your parish could certainly use your talents in some capacity.

[/quote]

I second this. You appear to have been blessed with certain talents that all parishes could use. That you are able and eager to make your time available for the Church is the best any parish could hope for! :hug3:

God bless you!


#11

you may want to check out third orders/secular orders/oblates. Since your parish is a Franciscan parish your priest should be able to give you more information about the Secular Franciscan Order. It is the third order of the Franciscans and you can be married. It is a vocation in its own right.


#12

Thanks, all, for your feedback and prayers. They’ve been asking for catechists like crazy lately. Apparently the don’t have enough right now for the fall. So I was thinking I could teach two classes instead of just the one. I hope I’m not getting in over my head, since I normally teach adults.

I also decided that I need to spend more time with my parents. My dad has a brain injury and my mom is his full time caretaker, so they don’t get out much, and she’s a homebody anyway. I generally go spend a day there once a week, and I first take my dad to some stores or wherever he wants to go and give my mom some time to herself, and then when we get back I work with my dad a little on his alphabet (he’s aphasic since his accident 13 years ago, but bless his heart he is still trying to relearn to read and write). I recently started playing chess with him, bc it’s something that doesn’t require verbal communication, but helps him use his brain. After that, he’s usually content to watch tv and wait for dinner, so that’s when my mom and I catch up or she has me write a business letter or something for her. I only recently started to realize that caring for my parents is actually something I need to be doing more of, honoring them this way. Empty nest syndrome caught my mom by surprise, as my siblings were 10 and 11 years younger than me, and they both left the house within a year of each other. It used to be a lot harder to spend time there because my dad would nag me to no end about when the baby was coming, even though I explained as best I could that we have serious infertility issues, and that adoption doesn’t happen poof just like that. My mom, on the other hand, had been sort of encouraging me to just let it go and quit living in this constant disappointment and just embrace life without children. I wasn’t ready to hear it when she’d say it, and I found it very insensitive. But lately, by the grace of God, my dad hasn’t asked about “the baby” in several months now, and I’ve learned that if I don’t broach the subject of kids with my mom, she keeps her opinions to herself. But that is totally off topic, sorry!

Anyway, thanks for letting me work through all of this here.


#13

You got some good feedback. Let me add my two cents worth.

There may be many, many callings within married life. Some involve a calling to both spouses, such as becoming a missionary couple or foster parenting or adopting. Some require or benefit from the support or at least the consent of the other spouse, such as becoming a deacon, serving the poor in a soup kitchen, St. Vincent de Paul Society, etc., working with youth in a parish or neighborhood program, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or sponsoring a small group bible study or sharing group in one’s home. Some you can do more or less on your own, such as participating in parish ministries, evangelism, or becoming a third order or oblate connected to a religious order.

God bless your search for your vocation within a vocation.


#14

Thanks again!:)


#15

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