Thursday, August 7, 2014

Holy Innocents and Vocations

John Figueroa, a parishioner at Holy Innocents in NYC, has joined the Wyoming Carmelite Monks of the Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There was a reception for him on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014. Here is a short account of his desire to discern his vocation with the Carmelites in his own words, and the importance of the daily traditional Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents in this process. 
Praised be Jesus Christ!

It is through the Immaculate Heart of Mary that one receives the call to serve her Son as a Carmelite. For indeed the life of a Carmelite is nothing more than an imitation of Our Lady’s contemplative life. My discernment to Carmel began after completing my novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at the Carmelite Monastery of Brooklyn in July of 2013. Prior to making that novena would often assist at Holy Mass at the Brooklyn Carmel. I had been making visits there since entering the seminary for the Archdiocese of NY in 2012.

Divine Providence would have it that that Carmel would be a spiritual refuge for me filled with many graces and priceless friendships. I was able to witness the hidden life of deep prayer, penance, and genuine joy just by hearing the angelic voices from behind the iron grilles. The day after completing my novena Our Lady did not waste any time, she showed me the beauty of her “Garden” through the lives of some of her holy ones. The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne and St. Mary Elias of the Blessed Sacrament are some of the Carmelites that Our Lady inspired me with. But Our Lady would not stop there. That same day I came across a website that would change my life forever.  As soon as I clicked the link for the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, I felt interiorly as if this was Our Lady’s answer to my novena request. It certainly was since now at 32 years of age I find myself preparing to enter that Carmel!
It cannot go without saying however, how important Holy Innocents has been in discerning my vocation. It was in this very Parish that I would first encounter the Traditional Latin Mass; the Mass that has been so vital in forming my own spiritual life, the Mass that has become the cornerstone of my life. This parish continues to be a sanctifying oasis of prayer and devotion, where vocations to all states in life are born and nurtured; undoubtedly, mine was. Ave Maria!
Your devoted brother in Christ,
John Figueroa

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