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From the Rector: Spring 2022

Fr. Stephen Burr reflects on the obstacles of vocational discernment and proposes two themes to respond to them.

by Very Reverend Stephen Burr

God wants priests, religious, and lay ecclesial ministers in his Church. As a matter of faith, God wants priests, religious, and lay ecclesial ministers more than we want or need them. The need in the Church today is mighty, however, our almighty God’s desire surpasses our ability to recognize a need. Our heavenly Father wants his people to be joined to him now and forever as a people in communion by their actions and the very way they live as his own. Are there more individuals to serve God through his Church? Absolutely!

The path of discerning a vocation to serve God in his Church has many obstacles from our culture and many distractions that are interior to the human person. A common issue for an individual who is earnestly discerning God’s call to serve is sorting through the good, beautiful, and blessed sacrifices in the multitude of ways to live in communion with God. Of course, there are also temptations and distractions. These can distort the good, beautiful, and blessed sacrifices compelling an individual to feel unworthy, unloved, or unable to serve God in the manner he calls into a deeper relationship with him.

Over the years, I have proposed two themes in my seminary ministry to be considered in any discernment of vocational ministry: Do I trust God and Do I listen to God

These two themes give focus to our relationship with God instead of operating purely on self-reliance. Vocational ministry cannot be discerned depending only upon one’s self.  Consequently, Answering God’s Call can only be done by exploring your relationship with God.  Trust and listening are key elements of any relationship. More time spent in prayer, worship, and education will help an individual to trust God. In those moments, an individual will discover how God has been trustworthy to many faithful individuals who have come before him in the Scriptures and the lives of the saints. When an individual is ready to trust God they will be more apt to listen to the communication God is sharing with them—his will or loving plan for them. Thus, the answer to ‘How can I trust and listen to God,’ is to give time to that relationship. Time for adoration, daily prayer, reading the Scripture, and spiritual reading are essential. 

Trusting that God loves you and that life with him, even amid struggles, is joyful, or listening to what God offers through the word, sacraments, and prayer, is the key to a life with God and any vocational discernment. We hope the articles in this edition of MOSAIC will give you more themes and personal witnesses to consider when seeking God’s will for you as well as the good, beautiful, and blessed sacrifice of Answering God’s Call

May God bless you on your vocational journey!

Fr. Burr

by Very Reverend Stephen Burr

Very Reverend Stephen Burr


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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.