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What is a Vocation?

What is a Vocation?

By Fr. Tony Thirumalareddy, Parochial Vicar

A vocation is literally “God’s call,” a call that we hear by listening to God’s voice within us. God can speak to us through our inner and outer experiences. Listening to God’s call is an interactive process—a dialog—between God and us. God speaks to each of us in a very personal way.

How do we hear God's call?

We can see examples of God’s call if we look at some major individuals in Scripture, like Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Jeremiah, Mary, and Peter. They all heard God’s voice, sometimes in the interior of their hearts and sometimes through external experiences. Regardless of how they heard God’s voice, each of them eventually responded generously and openly.

Is it easy to respond to God's call?

It is not always easy to respond to God’s call. One’s first reaction to a vocation is rarely accompanied by much peace or clarity. Usually there is doubt and confusion—perhaps even anxiety. But staying faithful to your conversation with God usually brings a growing sense of clarity about what’s right for you and what will bring you lasting peace and joy.

If we look at the examples in Scripture, each person initially responded with confusion and doubt and said, “Not me, Lord...I’m too young” (Jeremiah); “I have a stutter” (Moses); or “I’m too sinful” (Peter and Isaiah). However, as they began to listen attentively and respond generously and openly, they eventually discovered what God called them to do and over time they developed a more profound sense of their own vocation.

Listening to God

If you are currently discerning your call to a vocation, and are experiencing uncertainty, trust that God is speaking to you and that, if you listen and respond openly, you’ll find your way.

About the Vocations Commission

The Vocations Commission works to promote and foster vocations of all types in the parish, while cultivating the importance of education, prayer, and discernment, and showcasing the empowering role of parents and other role models in the discernment process.

If you would like to meet with Fr. Tony, please contact him at 608-271-7421 or tony.thirumalareddy@

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