The word “vocation” comes from the Latin “vocare”, which means “to call”. Vocation is therefore a calling, an appeal. God is the One who, creating man, calls him to life and to a personal relationship with Himself, to love and to holiness. Every man is called to answer to this universal vocation, rooted in the sacrament of baptism, according to his own identity. And it is precisely by discovering himself that man discovers that specific way through which he will love and serve God, the Church and men better. For a man or woman, the vocation must first of all be heard in the silence of the heart.
The Lord’s call – let it be said at the outset – is not as clear-cut as any of those things we can hear, see or touch in our daily experience. God comes silently and discreetly, without imposing on our freedom. Thus, it can happen that his voice is drowned out by the many worries and concerns that fill our minds and hearts.1
Therefore, we need a deep understanding of our life, enlightened by faith, to discover that special gift that God has bestowed upon us.
In the words of the co-founder of Shalom Community, Emmir Nogueira:
A vocation is a call from God, an invitation from God. But this invitation does not arrive in a beautiful envelope, does not come through the post office, does not come from WhatsApp, not appears in the media. This invitation comes into your heart and when you find what is in your heart, then you can give your answer. A vocation is a seed that God puts into you and that one day, by means of a word or an event, God makes it bloom. And you discover that you have been called to that vocation! And the Shalom vocation is a way of living the call from God to which we and thousands of others in the world have said ‘Yes’.2
The Shalom Charism is a way, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to live the universal vocation to holiness and the evangelizing mission of Christians.
A vocation to become a member of Shalom Catholic Community is a calling from God. It is addressed to each and every baptized member of God’s people who – having experienced the Risen One who passed through the cross and with the baptism in the Holy Spirit (see Jn 20: 19-22), and professing the Catholic faith – receives the calling to follow Him according to the spirit of Shalom Community Vocation.3
When one is called by God to the Shalom vocation, he identifies himself in a special way of being, living and serving- in the manner of a disciple and mister of peace..
The Shalom Community is made up of all states of life: celibates for the Kingdom of Heaven, single and married men and women and priests, complementary and bound in unity, thus reflecting the Trinitarian life and the mystery of the Church.
“A vocation in the Shalom Catholic Community can be experienced in two complementary dimensions: Life Community and Covenant Community.”4
The Life Community is the heart, the central core of the Shalom Community. Its members are called to a more radical life-offering in following the Lord Jesus, through the spirit of poverty, obedience and chastity, according to the state of life of each one. Having renounced possession of goods, projects and personal plans, they dedicate themselves fully to God and His Kingdom through prayer, fraternal life and service.
The Covenant Community receives the call to offer lives to Christ in the midst of family and professional activities, taking on the commitment to live them according to the spirit of this Charism and also, at its own level, the commitments of contemplation, unity and evangelization.
DO YOU WANT TO LIVE THIS INVITATION?
“If Shalom charism burns in your heart, this is your way to God and to holiness. Do not be afraid to offer your life to Christ, for the Church, for the poor, for the young and for all men“. (Moysés Azevedo)
If one wishes to begin a vocational discernment path in the Shalom Community, he or she must look for the vocational group of the nearest Shalom Mission or get in touch with the Vocational Section to begin the “vocational path at a distance” by sending an email to: email@example.com.
The vocational path begins after the request by the candidate and admission by the Community. It has a minimum duration of one year and includes:
- Participation in monthly meetings, which have as their objective to present the the specifics of Shalom Charism within the Church;
- Personal accompaniment once a month by a Vocational Guide (spiritual director) who is a member of the Life or Covenant Community;
- The experience of living as a member of the Life Community for at least 30 days or Covenant Community for at least 2 months;
- Participation in a vocational study retreat (held in August or September) and a final vocational retreat (held in December or January).
After the final retreat and with the due consent of his or her Vocational Guide the candidate can request admission to the Shalom Catholic Community, which will make the final discernment on the request.
¹Pope Francis, Message for the 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, available in https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/it/messages/vocations/documents/papa-francesco_20171203_55-message-giornata-mondiale-vocations .html.
² Interview, Halleluya 2016.
³ Statutes of the Shalom Catholic Community, 8.
⁴ Statutes of the Shalom Catholic Community,