Father Lino Oropeza, S.S.E., gave a talk about vocations at Theology on Tap with the Burlington Catholic Young Adults group at Church Street Tavern on August 8. Theology on Tap is an international program that usually involves discussions on religious matters paired with local craft brews at a Catholic-owned establishment.
Event organizer, and 2015 Saint Michael’s College graduate, Robert Tracy, 26, said Burlington Catholic Young Adults hosts Theology on Tap at Church Street Tavern on Church Street in Burlington at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. “Father Lino is a younger priest and I always enjoy his talks and homilies,” Bobby said. “I thought what he would have to say would really resonate with this group.”
About 20 young adults hunkered down with some comfort food and local beverages upstairs at the popular bar. To quell any misinformation about what vocations actually are, Father Lino first opened up the room for discussion. He asked the group, what is a vocation? One young man said, “To be holy.”
Father Lino agreed. He said the moment we were baptized, we were called to holiness. Then he said manifesting that call is quite different for everyone and that he was not altogether comfortable with the frequently used term “God’s plan.” He sees vocation as something more malleable. It is more of a “give and take” and a “working together” with God towards the common goal of holiness. “It’s about working together like a beautiful symphony,” he said.
We are not slaves in something called God’s plan. “It’s more like we are all supposed to be joyful players in His Grace,” Father Lino said. “God will never expect us to obey like marching soldiers. We are not puppets.”
He asked the group, “What makes you feel whole?”
Discerning our vocation comes through prayer and finding out what brings us joy, Father Lino said. It starts with a simple conversation with God, like a song, one note at a time. After a while, the conversation gets fuller and fuller—a conversation that weaves through our life.
“Discerning our vocation is about knowing ourselves and getting to know how God works best in our lives,” Father Lino said. “What feels most comfortable to you, to be married, single, or belong to a religious community like the Edmundites? This process takes time.”
Bobby said he appreciated Father Lino’s description of the differences between the Diocesans and Religious Priests. “I learned more about the relationship that a local bishop has with a local order and what authority they have with the order. I always enjoy when he does a talk because he always finds a way to word things for us to see it from a different point of view and we are able to grasp the concept better.”
Bobby was also inspired to try more things, he said. “You don’t want to be living a life that you don’t love,” he said. “I was inspired by Father Lino’s path to join the Edmundites.”
Don’t miss out on the young adult retreat at Dumaine Retreat Center in Jacksonville, Vermont happening September 13 & 14. For more information visit https://vermontcatholic.org/event/young-adult-retreat-dumaine/?fbclid=IwAR1LXPQdkFRjNJ3GrTlaDqLl4VWZpCX-fcXbV-ecAdbYjYmstH3E69i8Brc
For more information about Burlington Catholic Young Adults or the next Theology On Tap gathering email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/BurlingtonCatholics/.
For more information about The Society of Saint Edmund, our Edmundites, or choosing your vocation please visit http://www.sse.org/vocation.html or call Father Lino Oropeza at (802) 654-2344 or email him at email@example.com.
The heart of the Society of Saint Edmund’s mission is serving where the need is greatest, a credo that has led us to four core ministries: Social Justice, Education, Spiritual Renewal and Pastoral Ministry. It is through these core ministries that we live out a faith-based life of service and make a real difference in people’s lives by bringing them closer to God.