Welcome to the St. Veronica vocations page— we hope this serves as a resource for those discerning their call from the Lord. We all have a vocation, which comes from the latin vocare, “to call.” Here you will find:
- Information: Links to Diocesan and other vocations-related resources, including a vocation-match questionnaire tool
- Vocations Support Options, including: Pray for St. Veronica parishioners who have responded to Christ’s call; learn about the Vocations Crucifix Prayer Kit; Donate to the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund (SEEF); St Therese Vocation Society
Links to Diocesan and other vocations-related resources; videos
Vocation Resource Sites:
- https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/vocations/a-call-to-be-holy/: Includes the definitions below, videos on discernment, detailed links for men and women considering their call, points of contact for questions.
- https://www.usccb.org/committees/clergy-consecrated-life-vocations/vocations: National site with helpful links, additional resources, and videos for men and women Links for men include:
- https://diocesanpriest.com/: Insight, videos, resources for those men potentially called to be a diocesan priest
- https://religiousbrotherhood.com/: Resources for men considering religious life outside of the diocesan priesthood path; includes priest & non-priest vocations: contemplative monks, active brothers/friars, lay communities, clerical communities, and mixed communities.
- https://vocationnetwork.org/en: Vision Vocation Guide and its website provide extensive resources for those seeking information on Catholic religious vocations and men’s and women’s religious communities.
- https://vocationnetwork.org/en/match: Vocation Match: answer questionnaire to receive instant potential religious life matches to explore (religious orders, communities, etc) online.
- https://religiouslife.com/: Hosted by the Institute on Religious Life, includes a vocation search tool, and a geographic map and listing of men’s and women’s communities
- https://melchizedekproject.com/: Young men can register for online discernment groups, for those seeking to learn more about the priesthood and their vocational call
- https://discernavow.com/: Powerful discernment-based book and weekly study guide (either group or individual/self-guided); Avow was designed to help young women learn about religious life, prayer, and principles of discernment.
- https://cmswr.org/: Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, features upcoming discernment events, vocations directory, virtual & actual pilgrimages, movie link (separately- their detailed overviews of the Holy Land are amazing and beautiful!)
- https://youtu.be/jXvQJBDugDk: Bishop Burbidge’s 2021 Message for National Vocation Awareness Week
- https://youtu.be/7DwSy3MOahI: World Youth Day Keynote Speaker: Sister Bethany Madonna on Discerning Your Vocation
- https://youtu.be/vJz9PbakIzY: What’s My Vocation? Ascension Presents – Fr Mike Schmitz. What should I do with my life?” He shares how a vocation is more than just figuring out whether we’re called to married life or religious life – it’s about holiness.
- https://youtu.be/NOGlI2tAXrU: Fr. Leo Patalinhug, Steubenville homily, touching on how we are called, and his own calling.
- https://youtu.be/w2IapYkDpCU: Is God Calling You? National Vocation Awareness Week – short video, Fr Guillermo Gonzalez of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria speaks to understanding his call
- https://youtu.be/6SC7iyL3Low: Ask a Sister Part One: What if I feel called to Discern Religious Life? Sr Emily Beata, Daughters of Saint Paul, answers first steps in discerning your call
- https://youtu.be/j8nnIgo2PfY: For Love Alone (trailer, 2 minutes) – full (short, 17 min) movie may be available in parish library, or purchased online; insight into modern women who have responded to a personal call to follow Jesus Christ; Sisters from multiple communities.
Vocations Support | Pray for St. Veronica parishioners who have responded to Christ’s call; Vocations Crucifix Prayer Kit; support the Seminarian Endowment Fund (SEEF); join St Therese Vocation Society
Please pray for our St. Veronica parishioners who have responded to Christ’s call to the Priesthood, Diaconate, and Religious Life, and for the Religious who serve our Parish:
- Father Dennis W. Kleinmann, Pastor | Ordained May 15, 1993, Diocese of Arlington
- Father Richard E. Dyer, Parochial Vicar | Ordained December 27, 2011, Diocese of Arlington
- Paul Ochenkowski, Deacon | Ordained January 15, 2011, Diocese of Arlington
- Father William B. Schierer | Ordained June 11, 2011, Diocese of Arlington
- Sister Maeve Nativitas O’Doherty, S.V. (Sisters of Life) | First Profession July 2011
- Father Andrew W. Haissig | Ordained June 6, 2015, Diocese of Arlington
- Father Noah C. Morey | Ordained June 6, 2015, Diocese of Arlington
- Father Nicholas J. Schierer | Ordained June 9, 2018, Diocese of Arlington
- Father C. William Nyce | Ordained June 8, 2019, Diocese of Arlington
Please pray for the following present or past members of St Veronica who are in a Religious Formation program:
- Sister Dominic Maria of Christ, Eternal High Priest (Novice, OP),
November 1, 2021; St. Dominic’s Monastery in Linden, VA
Please pray for our St Veronica past clergy who have responded to Christ’s call to the Priesthood:
- Father Marcus A. Pollard, Founding Pastor (1999 – 2007) | Ordained May 19, 1990, Diocese of Arlington
- Father John D. Kelly (2007) | Ordained May 10, 1986, Diocese of Arlington
- Father Edward C. Hathaway (2007 – 2015) | Ordained May 18, 1991, Diocese of Arlington
Former Parochial Vicars:
- Father Stephen Holmes (2007 – 2010) | Ordained June 10, 2000, Diocese of Arlington
- Father Charles C. Smith (2010 – 2013) | Ordained June 10, 2006, Diocese of Arlington
- Father Michael C. Isenberg (2013 – 2018) | Ordained June 8, 2013, Diocese of Arlington
- Father Robert J. Wagner (2018 – 2019) |Ordained June 13, 2009, Diocese of Arlington
Priests in Residence:
- Father Christopher M. Buckner (2000-2007) | Ordained May 10, 1980, Diocese of Arlington
- Father Tijo J. Mullakkara (2012-2013) | Ordained December 30, 2006, St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago
If you know of anyone else to include in these lists, please email our vocations liaisons: Kevin Zrenda, firstname.lastname@example.org and Toni Smart, email@example.com.
Consider giving to the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund (SEEF):
- https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/the-foundation/financially-support-seminarian-education/: Link to financially support local Arlington Diocese seminarians in training.
Consider joining or praying with St Therese Vocation Society materials:
- https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/vocations/pray/st–therese-society/: St Therese Vocation Society | Group of men and women who pray daily for vocations and for the individuals in formation as priests and religious in our diocese. Can download a prayer calendar (pray for one religious per day) or posters of our seminarians and men/women religious in formation.
- https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/vocations/pray/prayers-for-vocations/: More vocation prayers and prayer materials
Consider signing up for the Vocations Crucifix (Prayer) Kit:
The St Veronica Vocations Crucifix Kit (VCK) is signed out for one week at a time to those willing to pray at home daily before the included crucifix. The call is to pray for vocations from our Parish, especially to the Priesthood, Permanent Diaconate, and Religious Life. See bulletin for sign up details, or email/contact our vocations liaisons (see bottom of page) if interested.
Definitions of some common terms you will come across in the Vocations arena
What is a vocation? A vocation is a call from God to share in His mission in the world. Everyone has a vocation. Sometimes this concept is referred to as “the universal call to holiness,” meaning that all people, everywhere, regardless of the vocation to which God calls them, are all called to be holy. It is in answering this call that we find joy. There are a variety of paths to achieve this holiness. It is important that all of us learn to listen to the voice of God and seek to follow his will.
The priest is an “alter Christus” which is Latin for another Christ. He is called to be a witness of Christ to the flock that has been entrusted to him as their shepherd. He is a minister of the sacraments, proclaimer of the word, teacher of the faith, and steward of the Church. The priest is meant to accompany and lead the flock entrusted to his care through this world in such a way as they are able to reach the eternal kingdom of heaven.
Differences between Diocesan and Religious Order Priests
What is the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest from a religious order?
- All priests are ordained to the priesthood through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. However, a man may choose to be a diocesan priest (sometimes called a secular priest) or a religious priest (or order priest).
- If he chooses to be a diocesan priest, then he enters the diocesan seminary system, and once ordained typically serves within his own diocese (a geographic territory designated by the Catholic Church). He is appointed to his ministry-most often parish work-by the bishop of that diocese. A diocesan priest is accountable to his bishop and the people he serves.
- If a man chooses religious priesthood, he joins a men’s religious community. While he may perform parish ministry, he generally serves in other ways, typically doing work related to the mission and ministries of his religious congregation. A religious priest is accountable to his major superior and the other men in his community for his religious life and his local bishop and the people he serves for his priestly duties.
The Religious Life
Men and women called to live the religious life as religious sisters and brothers or monks and nuns are also called to this act of accompaniment. They are called through a life dedicated to poverty, chastity and obedience to be a witness of the life of heaven living here on earth. They are to serve as a reminder and an encouragement to us to live our own lives with hearts and minds fixed on Christ. They live their lives in radical contrast to this world that is fading away.
Holy Matrimony is a sacrament uniting one man and one woman to each other and to God for the sake of the salvation of their own souls and to help share in Christ’s mission in the world. Marriage is not merely a human commitment or a contract between two parties, it is a God inspired unity of self-sacrifice. Just like every sacrament, its goal is to get us to heaven. When a couple gets married they are promising God and the other to do everything in their power to get their spouse to heaven.
Deacons share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint (“character”) which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ, who made himself the “deacon” or servant of all.
Dedicated Single Life
The dedicated single life is a call from God to make a gift of your person to Him and to His Church while still living in the world as a lay person, dedicating your life to service of others and to making the church and the world a better place.
Contemplative Monks (emphasis on prayer)
Brothers that are members of contemplative religious communities are called monks. They live in a monastery, and do not ordinarily leave the monastery’s grounds. They adopt a highly regular pattern of life, which includes a great deal of common prayer. They eat their meals together, often in silence. When not in prayer and study, monks perform duties that provide sustenance or maintain the monastery. This life of austerity and penance allows the brothers to grow in deep communion with God; through prayer and sacrifice, they powerfully intercede for the Church and the world.
Active Brothers (emphasis on service)
Active communities of brothers, often called frairs, live and pray together, just like monks, but during the day they enter the world to directly advance the kingdom of God. Religious priests often serve in sacramental roles similar to diocesan priests, while religious brothers take on many apostolates outside of parish life: chaplains, teachers, counselors, evangelists, and minsters of the poor. While active brothers still pray frequently, they understand their mission as an important part of their prayer.
Lay communities are composed almost exclusively of brothers. That is, the brothers are not usually ordained to the priesthood or diaconate. Because of their lay consecration, brothers are typically freer to serve the church outside of the church. They often work as chaplains, teachers, evangelists, and as ministers to the poor. In contemplative communities they often undertake manual work such as farming or craftsmanship.
Clerical communities are composed almost exclusively of religious who are ordained to the priesthood or diaconate. The ministries of religious priests are more sacramental, hence they are often more closely tied to parish life—Masses, confessions, baptisms, marriages, funerals. They also often preach missions or teach in schools or universities.
Mixed communities are made up of both lay and ordained religious. In these communities, the religious priests often serve in sacramental roles, while the lay brothers serve a broader apostolate. Contemplative monks are often mixed communities; priest monks serve the sacramental needs of their brothers, while lay monks serve as sacristans, craftsmen, porters, groundskeepers, and more.
Nuns, Sisters (differences)
A sister or nun is a woman who belongs to a religious order, or community. Many people use the word nun interchangeably with sister, but technically nuns are those who live a cloistered (or enclosed) monastic life; whereas sisters serve in an active ministry. After a period of preparation (called formation) sisters and nuns take lifelong vows. Usually they take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; that is, they promise to live simply, to live celibately, and to follow the will of God through their community.
For any follow on questions please feel encouraged and free to contact:
- St Veronica Vocations Liaisons: Kevin Zrenda (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Toni Smart, (email@example.com)
- St Veronica Parish Office: (703) 773-2000, to meet or schedule a call with Father Kleinmann or Father Dyer
- Or feel free to call the Diocesan Vocations Director: Father Isenberg – call on his direct line at (703) 841-2514, or firstname.lastname@example.org
High resolution copies available at: https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/vocations/pray/st–therese-society/