Vocation comes from the Latin vox, meaning voice. It implies that you are being called by God to a particular state or course of action. Until recently, having a vocation implied a divine summons to the religious life, but since Vatican II, a renewed appreciation of the call of all the baptized has allowed us to understand that God has a hope, a dream, a vocation for each one of us.
We can have multiple vocations; for example, one person could be married, a parent, a teacher, a music minister at church, and a visitor of the sick. Some of us have vocations which lead us into lives of direct service to God’s people as catechists, missionaries, priests, and religious.
Discerning a Call in Life
The Voice “in Here”
By Chris Lowney
Finding a vocation is dependent upon listening to the voice of God calling in life’s circumstances.
Be Who You Is: How Do I Discover My Vocation in Life?
By James Martin, SJ
Fr. Martin explains that desires are an important way to discover one’s vocation.
The Chosen Path
By William C. Spohn
“Ignatian spirituality offers a different wisdom on vocation. It counsels us to discover our personal calling by aligning our gifts and aspirations with what we see as the deepest needs of our world.”
What Does It Mean to Say That God Is Calling Me?
By Warren Sazama, SJ
This short article on discerning a vocation focuses on the role of our experiences in leading us into a dialogue with God.
London Jesuit Volunteers: Contemplation in Action
By Dan Nisbett
The author describes his two years working as a London Jesuit Volunteer. Through the integration of contemplation and action that the experience of the LJV provided, he was able to leave a job that drained him of life and discover the life-giving experience of living in service to others.
Jesus Our Priest
By Gerald O’Collins, SJ
The author notes how priestly ministry in Christ reflects his public ministry of proclamation and healing, being a visible sign of the invisible but present Christ in the celebration of the Eucharist, and being a person tried and tested as Jesus was vulnerable to the trials of the world.
dotMagis Posts About Vocations
From the archives of the dotMagis blog.
The Making of a Jesuit
By Patrick Fairbanks, SJ
Before becoming a Jesuit and after, from a brochure by the Vocations Director of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus.
Vocation Discernment Articles from Think Jesuit
A group of articles concerning the discernment of a vocation to priesthood or religious life. Most come from Warren Sazama, SJ, who writes with clarity and conviction.
Path to Priesthood
Jesuit Radmar Jao welcomes viewers on his Path to Priesthood in a series of video diaries. Episodes include answers to why become a Jesuit and the process of discernment.
Why Was I Delivered from Death?
By Gary Smith, SJ
A Jesuit who nearly died in Africa reflects on his call.
Jesuit Vocations YouTube Channel
Jesuits speak about their experiences of being and becoming members of the Society of Jesus in this collection of videos exploring vocation.
Jesuit Vocations (Britain)
Lots of useful information for those interested in a Jesuit vocation, including a video introduction by their Vocations Director and some “video vocation stories” from men in the British Province.
National Jesuit Brothers Committee
Highlights the ministries engaged in by Jesuit Brothers and considers their contribution to the life and work of the Society of Jesus.
A.M.D.G.: A World is Not Enough
The introduction to A.M.D.G.: A World is Not Enough serves as a trailer for this Jesuit-produced video about the works of the Jesuits across the world.
Priesthood in the Society of Jesus
By Bernard Sesboüé, SJ
The article traces the understanding of the Jesuits as a community centered on its apostolic mission as its primary identity. The Jesuits are an apostolic body of a presbyteral type.
By Bishop Greg O’Kelly, SJ
Australian bishop Greg O’Kelly, SJ, looks at some of the images we might use as a basis for a renewed understanding of priestly ministry.
A Year with the Jesuits Video Series
A Year with the Jesuits
This clip surveys Jesuit ministry in England, looking at education from the elementary through the college levels. It also shows how modern media is used as an avenue to proclaim the Gospel message.
A Year with the Jesuits: The Jesuits in Guyana
Video with some good moments discussing how Jesuits discover the presence of God within those they minister to in Guyana. Jesuit parish priests describe their ministry as Contemplatives in Action seeking to share the love of Jesus.
A Year with the Jesuits: The Jesuits in South Africa
A moving survey of Jesuits in parish and college ministry in South Africa, reflecting their work ministering to the poor, celebrating the sacraments with the indigent, and helping to prepare the next generation of leaders.
A Year with the Jesuits: Universities and Interfaith Dialogue
Video highlights the British Jesuits’ work in universities and in the field of interfaith dialogue.
A Year with the Jesuits: Conclusion
The final part of the video series looks at the spirituality that drives the life and work of the Jesuits.