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May 7 was a day when tens of thousands of people descended on downtown Indianapolis to participate in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, the largest half-marathon in the country, or take part in the Finish Line 500 Festival 5K race.
Among the enormous crowd were about 200 Catholics from across the Archdiocese of Indianapolis as well as the Evansville, Fort Wayne-South Bend and Lafayette dioceses, who shared a vocations message on T-shirts they wore as they ran or walked through city streets and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Their shirts highlighted various vocations—the priesthood, religious life, married life and sacred single life—and this challenge: “Everybody has a vocation. What’s yours?”
With the spiritual nature of the “Race for Vocations” team in mind, organizers from all four dioceses sponsored a Mass for team members and supporters the night before the races at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis. A pasta dinner followed the liturgy.
After team members completed the Mini or 5K on May 7, many of them gathered for refreshments and fellowship at a team tent in Military Park in Indianapolis.
Next year will be the fifth year for the “Race for Vocations” team. Father Rick Nagel, administrator of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, Catholic chaplain at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and archdiocesan director of Young Adult and College Campus Ministry, helped establish the vocations promotion program in 2008. He hopes to have 500 members on the 2012 “Race for Vocations” team.
Registration is already open for the 2012 OneAmerica 500 Festival
Mini-Marathon and the Finish Line 500 Festival 5K. People planning on participating in either event are encouraged to sign up at the same time for the “Race for Vocations” team.
For more information about the 2012 “Race for Vocations” team or to sign up for it, log on to www.archindy.org/vocations/race.html. †