January 11, 2013

2013 Religious Vocations Supplement

Race for Vocations team seeks new members for annual Mini-Marathon

By Sean Gallagher

It’s nearly four months until the 2013 running of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and the Finish Line 500 Festival 5K, both scheduled for May 4 in Indianapolis.

But the Race for Vocations team is seeking out members to participate in the events to promote the belief that every person has a calling from God.

Leaders in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the other dioceses in Indiana who co-sponsor the team are making the effort to build the team now in part because registration for the Mini-Marathon is expected to close soon.

This is the sixth year for the Race for Vocations team that gathers together hundreds of single people, married couples, religious sisters, seminarians and priests to pray for and promote vocations.

This year’s Mini-Marathon will be the 20th for Father Joseph Moriarty, director of spiritual formation at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad. He has also been a member of the Race for Vocations team since it was formed in 2008.

In recent years, some of the seminarians whose priestly formation he helps oversee have been fellow members with him of the Race for Vocations team.

“It indicates that they take seriously their own call from God and the important work of evangelization that calls others to that work,” Father Moriarty said. “So they are not just saying they believe in the importance of vocations, they are showing it.”

Running and faith “go hand in hand” for Jessica Blackport, a student at Butler University in Indianapolis. She will be a member of the Race for Vocations team for the second time this May.

“Running with faith has enlightened my spiritual life in so many ways and I couldn’t run without it,” said Blackport, a native of Jackson, Mich. “I couldn’t live without it.”

Each of the team members receives a T-shirt that has printed on it, “Everyone has a vocation. What’s yours?,” along with a list of various vocations—priesthood, religious life, marriage and sacred single life.

Blackport said she has worn her shirt in a number of running events in addition to the Mini-Marathon and that it sometimes surprises fellow runners who see it.

“I hope it makes them want what I have [in my faith] because I would love to share it with them,” she said. “For others, I hope it’s a pleasant reminder that young adults like me do believe and we are supporting and promoting the sacraments and a life of faith.”

Seeing such conviction in people like Blackport is a gift to Benedictine Sister Jennifer Horner, vocations director for Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove. She is a three-time member of the Race for Vocations team.

“I think it is great in promoting a culture of vocation that calls each of us to discern how God calls us every day,” she said. “As I prepare for the race and as we actually participate in it, I pray that the call to religious life in all its variety will be something that those discerning will consider as they ponder where God is calling.”

Sister Jennifer especially appreciates gathering together with other Race for Vocations team members the night before the Mini-Marathon and 5K for Mass and a pasta meal at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis.

“There is nothing more powerful than receiving the Eucharist together as we ask God to bless the work of the Race for Vocations,” Sister Jennifer said. “After receiving the food of the Eucharist that sustains us spiritually, we gather for a wonderful pasta dinner where we are given food to sustain our bodies.”

(For more information on the Race for Vocations team, log on to www.archindy.org/heargodscall/race.html. For information on the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon or the Finish Line 500 Festival 5K, log on to www.500festival.com/mini-marathon.)

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