Vocations/Ministries for Those who are Married?


#1

I just want to ask, are there any vocations, ministry opportunities, etc, that are available to those who are married?

I am married, but really want to do something in the Church. It is important to me to do something that directly serves God, but I just don't know what options there are within the Catholic Church.

I don't even know what avenues to begin exploring, so any recommendations of places to look would be appreciated.


#2

Well depends on what you mean by ministry/vocation. Marriage is a vocation and we server god through that vocation by helping our spouse get to heaven and proclaiming the Gospel through our marriage. On the other hand if you mean ministry as in something like a protestant preacher then the diaconate might be close, but they are primarily called to serve God by working with the poor, the imprisoned, etc. A Catholic deacon is to server by being of the world and their liturgical role (proclaiming the Gospel, giving homilies, etc) should be secondary to the call to server the physical needs of the people.

Not sure if that helps since we need a starting place defining "vocation/ministry." Also a person's gender makes a difference since things like the permanent diaconate are only opened to males over 35.


#3

[quote="Usige, post:2, topic:312401"]
Well depends on what you mean by ministry/vocation. Marriage is a vocation and we server god through that vocation by helping our spouse get to heaven and proclaiming the Gospel through our marriage. On the other hand if you mean ministry as in something like a protestant preacher then the diaconate might be close, but they are primarily called to serve God by working with the poor, the imprisoned, etc. A Catholic deacon is to server by being of the world and their liturgical role (proclaiming the Gospel, giving homilies, etc) should be secondary to the call to server the physical needs of the people.

Not sure if that helps since we need a starting place defining "vocation/ministry." Also a person's gender makes a difference since things like the permanent diaconate are only opened to males over 35.

[/quote]

Thank you for your response. By ministry, I just mean any way in the Church of serving God. Diaconate is a good example, so thank you for that.

Others I can think of I guess include youth minister, and others like that. I'm just trying to think of more that I might know what options are available.


#4

All Christians, by virtue of their baptism, are called to an active ministry of
Charity, and
Evangelisation.
you are also required by church law to contribute to the needs of your local church (specifically that means your dioscess but normally done in the parish setting). This includes 2 areas. 1) finincial contribution according to your means, and 2) giving your time generously to the practical needs and ministries of the church

these practical needs are many and varied.
Every parish needs help with practical issues related to maintainance, book keeping, and administration
Every parish should have (individaully or as part of a deanery mission) sunday school programmes, adult education programs focus on RCIA for new converts and other adult bible study and / or catechesis classes for other adults.
Every parish should be able to direct you to catholic or Christian charity groups they are working with, like the society of Saint Vincent de Paul or the many other groups that work on a local basis.

Your involvement in such programmes can be tailored to your avaialble time, your existing knowledge and experience, and your desire to develop those.

Candidates for the Diaconate would normally be expected to demonstrate existing commitment to these kinds of ministries.

Some lay Catholics have sound other full-time ministries by which they make their living. these are very varied and based on there being funding available to permit someone suitable and available to take up a job which fills such a need. A classic example would be the manager of a retreat house.


#5

Well, now it's my turn. What do you mean by "something that directly serves God"? Doesn't everything in the Church exist to honor and glorify God? And are you looking for activities that are restricted to those who are married? Or perhaps just those that do not exclude married people?

For example, my parish has teams of marriage preparation guides. Each team is made up of a man and a woman who must be married to each other. The apostolate is closed to anyone who does not meet this criterion. So if one half of a couple wants to join the apostolate but the other does not, the willing half cannot participate.

On the other hand, there are countless apostolates both at the parochial and diocesan levels that don't require their members to be married but also don't exclude those who are. I am (among other things) the principal sacristan of the largest of my parish's three churches. I am married. My associate sacristan is a widow. A sacristan at another of our churches is an unmarried consecrated layperson. We all view what we do as work done for God and His Church.

So I guess I'm back to my original question: what qualifies an activity as "something that directly serves God"?


#6

[quote="UpUpAndAway, post:5, topic:312401"]
Well, now it's my turn. What do you mean by "something that directly serves God"? Doesn't everything in the Church exist to honor and glorify God? And are you looking for activities that are restricted to those who are married? Or perhaps just those that do not exclude married people?

For example, my parish has teams of marriage preparation guides. Each team is made up of a man and a woman who must be married to each other. The apostolate is closed to anyone who does not meet this criterion. So if one half of a couple wants to join the apostolate but the other does not, the willing half cannot participate.

On the other hand, there are countless apostolates both at the parochial and diocesan levels that don't require their members to be married but also don't exclude those who are. I am (among other things) the principal sacristan of the largest of my parish's three churches. I am married. My associate sacristan is a widow. A sacristan at another of our churches is an unmarried consecrated layperson. We all view what we do as work done for God and His Church.

So I guess I'm back to my original question: what qualifies an activity as "something that directly serves God"?

[/quote]

Yes, anything within the Church would be something that directly serves God. What I meant is that I want to primarily spend my life doing such things.

And I only mean those that do not exclude married people.


#7

[quote="seeker_of_God, post:6, topic:312401"]
Yes, anything within the Church would be something that directly serves God. What I meant is that I want to primarily spend my life doing such things.

And I only mean those that do not exclude married people.

[/quote]

The options are myriad and almost limitless.
the question is more: What do you feel inspired to do? and do you expect to earn a living from such a ministry.

For a married person, the life of a contemplitave monk or nun would be inapropriate to your station and vocation as a spouse (and probable parent)
Serving your parish or some other community in parish activities is a job which is a moral duty on all the faithful. there are many many opportunities in your pairsh to consider. If you feel called to some specific other task then look for suitable opportunities to explore that task.

If you desire to spend your life in some full time ministry, then you need to discern what form of ministry you feel called to, and how such a ministry could support you and your family.
The catholic church is not like some protestant communities where the congregations will pay large tithes to support a wealthy lifestyle for their preachers. (I note that in much of europe that steriotype is rare, and I suspect the same is true in most places... the steriotype of the Rich TV evangelist / Magachurch pastor is one which I assume is a rarity or falacy).

Ministires fall into a few categories as I outlined in my previous post. Which category do you feel most drawn to?
Charitable Service (homeless shelter / soup kitchen, SVP, Scout leader.....)
Administration help for your parish / Dioceses
Faith Education for adults &/or children
Leading a prayer group
Assisting at mass (altar server, reader, choir, usher, EMHC.....)
Assisting outside mass: EMHC serving home / hospital / prison visits for those who cant come to Mass.

You must Look into your heart and pray and consider:
1) what do you feel called to be
2) what opportunities are there for you in your parish or elsewhere that you can serve
3) how do 1 and 2 those interact: if there's a crossover that would be a good starting place.


#8

[quote="anruari, post:7, topic:312401"]
The options are myriad and almost limitless.
the question is more: What do you feel inspired to do? and do you expect to earn a living from such a ministry.

For a married person, the life of a contemplitave monk or nun would be inapropriate to your station and vocation as a spouse (and probable parent)
Serving your parish or some other community in parish activities is a job which is a moral duty on all the faithful. there are many many opportunities in your pairsh to consider. If you feel called to some specific other task then look for suitable opportunities to explore that task.

If you desire to spend your life in some full time ministry, then you need to discern what form of ministry you feel called to, and how such a ministry could support you and your family.
The catholic church is not like some protestant communities where the congregations will pay large tithes to support a wealthy lifestyle for their preachers. (I note that in much of europe that steriotype is rare, and I suspect the same is true in most places... the steriotype of the Rich TV evangelist / Magachurch pastor is one which I assume is a rarity or falacy).

Ministires fall into a few categories as I outlined in my previous post. Which category do you feel most drawn to?
Charitable Service (homeless shelter / soup kitchen, SVP, Scout leader.....)
Administration help for your parish / Dioceses
Faith Education for adults &/or children
Leading a prayer group
Assisting at mass (altar server, reader, choir, usher, EMHC.....)
Assisting outside mass: EMHC serving home / hospital / prison visits for those who cant come to Mass.

You must Look into your heart and pray and consider:
1) what do you feel called to be
2) what opportunities are there for you in your parish or elsewhere that you can serve
3) how do 1 and 2 those interact: if there's a crossover that would be a good starting place.

[/quote]

Thank you. I will certainly pray about it.

I am interested more in a full-time ministry. As far as what kind of thing, perhaps religious education of some kind, or something related to that, would probably be most fitting for me, but I don't know what options are available there. I will check into it though. :)


#9

[quote="seeker_of_God, post:8, topic:312401"]
Thank you. I will certainly pray about it.

I am interested more in a full-time ministry. As far as what kind of thing, perhaps religious education of some kind, or something related to that, would probably be most fitting for me, but I don't know what options are available there. I will check into it though. :)

[/quote]

Since it looks like you are looking for a paying position (?) be aware that many parishes do not have many paying positions. Outside of our two priests I believe we have maybe 4 or 5 paid positions. The only deacon that is employed by the parish was also a CPA and he serves as office admin and handles parish finances. The other deacon is retired and does not get paided. Our Director of Religious Ed is paid, but has dual degrees in theology and education (was a professor and then got a second masters in divinity).

I just mention this because I know one of the evangelical megachurchs near me has 14+ paid ministers (adult, couples, teens, children, pastor, etc). That does not include the 3 or 4 people in the office, the sound and lighting techs, etc. Some people that come from noncatholic backgrounds are surprised at how much of the parish runs purely on volunteer efforts.

That's not to say there aren't paid positions, but they certainly aren't thick on the ground.


#10

Dear SG,

What about FOCUS? They have married, full-time missionaries.

God bless,

Fr. Scott Kallal, AVI


#11

If you want to go into full time ministry I would suggest going for a degree in theology, especially if you want to go into full time catechetical ministry. In our diocese catechetical leaders are expected to have an MA or be working toward it. You can work in catechesis without the degree but the pay is much less, and if you are trying to support a family the extra money comes in handy.


#12

The availability of Paid positions will vary massively depending on the resources of the parish or mission in which you are hoping to work.
Here in the UK there are very very few paid ministry positions. Priests mostly live on a shoe-string, and many parishes cant afford proper heating.
Few parishes have more than one priest.

I considered training to be a R.E. teacher for high school... but I decided to become an engineer instead due to various reasons.

I am no, years later, looking for ways to commit more time to active ministry in the church, and study more to improve my knowledge.


#13

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