Mike Chiristiansen – Vocations Director – My Story
My name is Mike Christiansen, and I am the Vocations Director for Council 13319. It is interesting how the Holy Spirit works on one’s life. In joining the Council two years ago, I looked for a way to get involved. Because the existing Vocations Director at the time was a good friend of mine, he recommended me for the position once I became a Knight. Upon being elected as the Vocations Director, I was eager to get involved as I was eager to promote vocations; primarily focused on the support of local seminarians from Sacred Heart Major Seminary. As I got involved in the role, I began investigating more and more about the various forms of religious vocations (Priesthood, Diaconate, etc). Being involved in promoting vocations, also got me to consider my own vocations and aspirations. And now, I am current enrolled at Sacred Heart as a student, taking prerequisites, and discerning my own vocation / path to become a Deacon. It’s amazing how the Holy Sprit works in one’s life, I feel he brought me to the Knights and this position for a reason!
What do we mean by “Vocations”?
Every Catholic has a vocation. In fact, as a member of the Church, every Catholic participates in the reality of “vocation” in three distinct but related senses.
First, there is the common Christian vocation that comes in Baptism. This can be expressed in various ways, but in general terms it means loving and serving God and neighbor and helping to carry on the mission of the Church.
Vocation also refers to a “state in life” or a way of being Christian – priesthood, religious life, marriage, and so forth. States in life are the special, lifelong settings in which people live the baptismal vocation.
Finally, there is personal vocation. The personal vocation of each one of us takes shape in the unique combination of talents, personal characteristics, relationships and life circumstances – including both our common Christian vocation and our state in life – that point to the special role God wants us to play in his redemptive plan. Membership in the Knights of Columbus is part of the personal vocation of many Catholic men.
When people speak of “vocation,” they usually mean vocation in the second sense – state in life. Most Christians are called by God to the married state, and some are called to the state of single laypersons living in the world. But Jesus also chooses certain men to act in his Person through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the other sacraments; they are called to be priests. Others are called to the clerical state as permanent deacons. And still others, both women and men, are called to what is known as consecrated life – a way of life marked by the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience – whose most familiar expression is religious life.