Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ToT West: Discerning & Living Out Your Vocation

by Ann Gallano
Merciful Reedemer Parish, Mississauga, ON


Our Vocations Panel: Michael & Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt,
Fr. Chris Lemieux, Sr. Teresa Joseph, and Enza Lamberti.


“We all want to serve Christ” is the common ground for all the vocations. This statement was discussed by Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt on behalf of the special guests representing the different vocations who each shared their discernment and vocation stories during the Theology on Tap West on Monday, April 13th. The special guests were Vanessa and Michael Nicholas-Schmidt who talked about their marriage, Fr. Chris Lemieux who discussed priesthood, Sr. Teresa Joseph who shared about being a religious sister, and Enza Lamberti, who explained her vocation as a consecrated virgin. 


Vanessa and Michael stated that one of the greatest blessings of their marriage was the grace of the sacraments, especially as they prepared for their marriage. Discernment for them was like taking one step at a time and they felt peace. They described discernment as taking more and more steps closer to God and you arrive at where you are called to be.

Fr. Chris shared how he loves hearing vocation stories and recognizing authentic signs about other's desires to serve Christ. For him, the most important things in discerning are sacramental life, prayer, and most of all having the heart to serve.

Sr. Teresa emphasized the ultimate significance of having a relationship with God in any vocation. She added that this can be developed through prayer, time spent at the Blessed Sacrament, and living a sacramental life. She also said that “Whatever gives you peace, you take that step. Otherwise, you are forever discerning.”

Enza briefly explained about the vocation of being a consecrated single and she pointed out that everyone is called to live a consecrated life whatever your vocation is. She described how raising her niece, Desiree, has reflected her own growth towards the faith and helped her uncover who God is calling her to be.


There are obstacles on discernment and living out your vocations. Sr. Teresa stated that even if you say “yes”, it doesn’t stop there. The evil one will keep tempting you. You can’t have everything you want but in the end “it is not about me, but about God”, according to Michael. How would you know where God is leading you to? The answer is different for each person. Fr. Chris said it best when he says: “Trust God – If God calls you there, you’ll be there.”

For more photos from this event, go here.
For information on future events, visit our website at ocytoronto.org