The term vocation is often misunderstood to only mean a calling into the priesthood or religious life. In fact vocation is a general term which means a call from God to live out some state in life. Thus, it encompasses married life and single life, along with the priesthood and religious life. To this point, St. Augustine said, “He who does little, but in a state to which God calls him, does more than he who labours much, but in a state which he has thoughtlessly chosen: a cripple limping in the right way is better than a racer out of it.”
We are all called to discern our vocation, through prayer and counsel. Fr. Christopher Nguyen, S.J. and Chris Nguyen, S.J., along with the rest of the Staff, are available to help assist in discerning your vocation. If you are considering a vocation to religious life, a brief overview of some of the larger religious orders is provided below along with a link to their website for more information.
- Dominicans – Founded by St. Dominic in the 13th century, originally to fight the heresy spreading through southern France that said the world was evil, the Dominicans’ primary charism is to preach the Word of God throughout the world.
- Paulists – Founded by Isaac Hecker, a convert to the Catholic Church, the Paulists are dedicated to preaching the Gospel using media and tools of modern culture.
- Franciscans – Founded by St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, the Franciscans charism is one of service and brotherhood to all.
- Augustinians – Founded in the 13th century by Pope Innocent IV, the Augustinians strive to live in the footsteps of St. Augustine of Hippo. Their ministries include preaching, teaching, and missionary work.
- Jesuits – Founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century after he was wounded in battle, the Jesuits are the largest male religious order. They serve as teachers, pastors, and chaplains, as well as doctors, lawyers, astronomers, and in many other roles.
The Diocese of San Diego vocations also contains information for those discerning a call to the priesthood or religious life.