Saints in the Making

Posted: 11/8/2013

Pat McEntee, Associate Vocation Director, GlenmaryPat McEntee,
Associate Vocation Director

Baptism in the Catholic faith provides us our first vocation—the universal call to holiness. Another way to express this truth is that we are called to be saints.

November is a month when we set aside time specifically to honor the Saints as well as to pray for the souls of the faithful departed. We honor and ask for intercession from the Saints who are officially recognized by the Church for their heroic faith and virtue. Another way to look at them is as people put before us as heroes—those who, by their example, can inspire us to follow God more closely. To borrow a sports metaphor, some might view these Saints as a sort of Hall of Fame.

So, what is the difference between capital-S Saints and lowercase-s saints? Lowercase-s saints are those of us who are baptized and called to this heroic faith and virtue, and are on the path to achieving it.

Glenmary's primary purpose is to bring the Church to those who don't have the opportunity to know the Church and the call to be saints. One of the common misconceptions about the Catholic faith is that we worship the Saints. We do not. We honor them for the work they have done to model their lives after Jesus. We ask them to intercede to God on behalf of those of us who remain on earth.

For almost 75 years, Glenmary's priests and brothers have been involved in the ministry of "being saints" for people who reside in the rural areas of the South and Appalachia. They are men who have spent their lives striving to be examples of heroic faith and virtue in the mission areas of the United States. Their efforts are not merely for their own salvation. Rather, their goal is to inspire more and more people to join the communion of saints. Glenmarians want the people they serve to ultimately be examples of heroic faith and virtue to others, as well.

Our baptism obligates us to continually strive to be holy people. To ignore that call is to ignore our vocation. When All Saints Day came around, what Saints did you think of? Did you consider what you might do to become one of them?

Are you being asked to live out your universal call to holiness by inspiring the men, women and children of Glenmary's missions to also strive to be holy? The mission areas need you now more than ever. There are still so many counties in the United States that have no Catholic presence.