BY ANGELA CAVEThe diocesan Vocations Office seeks something that won't burn a hole in Catholics' pockets: prayers.
Runners, walkers and families are invited to a "Run 4 Vocations," to be held April 24 at Christian Brothers Academy in Colonie.
Others can go to eight different parishes in the Albany Diocese that day to make pledges: Blessed Sacrament, Albany; Holy Family, Albany; St. Thomas, Delmar; St. Mary's, Granville; Annunciation, Ilion; St. Ambrose, Latham; St. Anthony's, Schenectady; or St. Augustine's, Troy.
Unlike many 5K runs, the vocations event doesn't ask for financial pledges, but prayers - for the struggling couple, the man in the seminary or the person who hasn't heard a call to her own life's vocation. Those who pledge to support the runners can promise to say the Rosary or any other prayers for vocations.
The goal is to raise awareness about vocations - which, organizers pointed out, include the priesthood, religious life, the diaconate and brotherhood, single life and marriage.
"Sometimes when you think of vocations, you only think of priests and religious, but we're zeroing in on the holiness of every call," said Sister Rosemary Cuneo, CR, diocesan vocations director.
She said that single life can be a vocation if the person dedicates time to parishes or ministries.
Sister Rosemary and others will distribute information about vocations at the run. One example is a list of Stations of the Cross related to vocations.
Regarding the Joyful Mystery of the finding of Jesus in the Temple, that station notes: "Vocation demands action. Jesus knew His vocation and went to work at it. However, vocation requires maturity, something He was lacking at this point. The time would come when Our Lord had to leave His mother and when she had to send forth her divine son....Without action, no vocation can be fulfilled, and if not fulfilled, there will be no joy, no growth, and no reward."
Sister Rosemary told The Evangelist that it's hard to estimate how many participants will attend the event, as it's the Diocese's first vocations run, but 400 t-shirts were ordered. A $20 registration donation gives participants a shirt and lunch from LT's Grill in Niskayuna.
Discerning the call is important, Sister Rosemary said: "God has called us. There's more to life than meets the eye."
(To register online, visit www.albanyvocations.org. For more information about vocations and the run, call Sister Rosemary at 674-3818.)