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Agena Hurrle was struggling to complete the One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon last May in Indianapolis.
She was in the final, exhausting mile of the 13.1 mile race that took her from downtown Indianapolis, around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and back.
As a member of the Run for Vocations Team started by archdiocesan associate vocations director Father Rick Nagel, she was wearing a shirt that read in part, “Vocation … everyone has one. What’s yours?”
Someone along the side of the street must have seen the shirts that Hurrle and some 90 other members of last year’s team were wearing because as she ran that last mile she heard someone yell, “Go vocations!”
“I was really excited and I really needed that, too, because the last mile was really grueling,” Hurrle said after last year’s mini.
Hurrle, a member of St. Roch Parish in Indianapolis and the mother of three young children, valued being a part of the Run for Vocations Team so much that she is helping to organize this year’s team.
The Run for Vocations Team is made up of people who are registered to participate in this year’s Mini-Marathon, commonly known as the “mini,” or in the Finish Line 500 Festival 5K, which is run at the same time.
The team members are encouraged to pray for vocations during the race and their training leading up to it. They’re also asked to collect prayer pledges for vocations from their family members and friends.
Father Nagel said that some 30,000 prayers were offered up last year by people across the country in connection to the Run for Vocations Team.
“I just want to get as many people praying for vocations as possible,” Hurrle said. “Last year, when I was collecting prayer pledges, I even asked Protestant and Jewish friends and family to please pray for us. It was great that they were compassionate about our vocations cause, and were willing to [help].”
For anyone interested in joining this year’s team, learning more about it or making prayer pledges, log on to the archdiocesan vocations Web site at www.heargodscall.com and click on “Run for Vocations.”
Transitional Deacon Christopher Wadelton, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis, will be ordained a priest less than two months after he runs in this year’s mini as a member of the Run for Vocations Team.
He was a member of last year’s team and was impressed by the scores of lay Catholics, especially young adults, who were nurturing a greater awareness of vocations in the archdiocese by joining the team.
“It’s a tremendous affirmation, that the laity really are very interested in promoting vocations … ,” Deacon Wadelton said. “It’s just very affirming to see people come and support the Church and the archdiocese in that way.”
There is no charge to be a member of the Run for Vocations Team. A special Mass for the team and its supporters will be celebrated the evening before the mini at 6 p.m. on May 1 at St. John the Evangelist Church, 126 W. Georgia St., in Indianapolis. A pasta dinner will follow the Mass.
The Lafayette Diocese, which has joined this year’s effort to promote the Run for Vocations Team, will sponsor a tent in Military Park in Indianapolis near the mini’s finish line where members of the team can meet after the race.
Father Nagel said he expects this year’s team to be double the size of last year’s.
“We have some folks who are going to be a cheer section along the route for our runners,” said Father Nagel. “Who knows how the Holy Spirit will continue to work in and through this to bring more men to the priesthood, more women to consecrated life and to just help people to think about their vocation …. It’s all about holiness.”
(In addition to logging on to the archdiocesan vocations Web site, those interested in learning about or signing up for the Run for Vocations Team can do so by e-mailing Courtney Mitchell at email@example.com or calling her at 800-382-9836, ext. 1490, or 317-236-1490.) †