November 4, 2022

2022 Vocations Awareness Supplement

All vocations are embued with God’s mysterious grace and mercy

By Father Michael Keucher

Father Michael KeucherA few years ago, I had the joy of going on a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal, for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady there.

I felt an immediate and strong kinship with St. Francisco de Jesus Marto, one of three the little children who saw Our Lady back in 1917. He was the one who Mary said would only make it to heaven “after many rosaries!”

While Francisco and Jacinta, his sister, died at a young age, Lúcia dos Santos, the oldest of the three visionaries and cousin to the others, lived until 2005. Lucia became a religious sister, and she tells in her book Fatima, In Lucia’s Own Words about a beautiful moment when Francisco ran up to her before one of the apparitions and said, “I came, because—I don’t know why.”

Isn’t that true for all of us who have followed a call of God? There’s a necessary mystery about our callings, our vocations. We walk where God is leading simply because we are drawn there, and then we get there and pause from time to time, thinking, “I’m here, because—I don’t know why!”

Except, of course, we do know why: God’s grace! When it comes to vocations, all is grace and mercy. None of us deserves a vocation, none of us is smart enough to know our vocation and none of us is strong enough to fulfill the demands of our vocation. It is all God’s grace and mercy, from start to finish.

A true disciple of Jesus echoes Francisco’s words often: “I’m here, because—I don’t know why!”

I’ll always remember watching a great documentary on the priesthood called The Catholic Priest Today years ago before finally entering the seminary. I would recommend the whole world watch it. I’ve probably seen it a thousand times!

In the documentary, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka, says something very wise: “You can never explain your vocation, especially your priestly vocation. It always is a mystery. Something happens inside you.”

That is most certainly the case. This Vocations Awareness Supplement profiles men and women from across our archdiocese who have encountered this mystery and have responded with love and generosity. I hope you enjoy their stories and are encouraged to pray for them and thank them.

Our seminarians and priests, our deacons, our religious sisters and brothers know this well: We can’t explain the life we’ve been called to live. It is the most wonderful thing! We can’t always even explain how we got here. All we know is we have been drawn by God’s love, grace and mercy.

By God’s grace, something happened inside us. By God’s grace, we took the next steps. By God’s grace, we are here.

If you are reading this and are wondering if God might be calling you to serve him in the priesthood, diaconate or religious life, embrace the mystery of your calling! The archdiocesan Vocations Office is here for you!

You may never know for a fact why you’re feeling as you are, why God has picked you or what you might do next. But no worries! Just embrace the mystery, take one step at a time, hold onto Mary’s hand, and you’ll be walking in the divine will!

(Father Michael Keucher is director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Shelbyville and sacramental minister of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Shelby County. Contact him at

See our entire Vocations Awareness Supplement here

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