“Everybody is looking for Fulfillment“

Universal Church praying for Spiritual Vocation on the 3rd of May

When the church is globally praying for spiritual vocation, Br. Matthias Terhorst SAC, too, will join the prayers. As he is the Pallottine representative for the pastoral vocation. Nevertheless, the Pallottine brother is having his own view on the topic of vocation, typically Pallottine, one could say.

The 38-year-old Pallottine, living in Münster with a confrere, normally travels to Hamm every day to teach Physical and Religious Education at the business college and to function as the school’s pastor. The things he hears from the young people studying there and the experiences he gains with them, already imply something like accompanying them in the search for their individual vocation. What we have here, are young people searching for “an idea on how to make use of their lives.” Br. Matthias Terhorst says. “Young people living with their parents noticing: this isn’t enough for me anymore.” According to the Pallottine, this too, is about vocation.

So, what is it, the mayor attribute of a vocation story? “It’s the inner longing for a fulfilling life, for deeper knowledge, for the inner engine, and, in a Christian context: for God”, Br. Matthias states. As he is convinced, “there is no human being without any vocation. What follows is the question of how one can work on this vocation.” What are the circumstances? Which personal components are there to be recognized?

The Pallottine Concept of Vocation

Thus, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on the 3rd of May is “just one of 365 days”, Br. Matthias Terhorst says. And he is keen on not limiting the term of “spiritual vocation” too much. Of course, he is aware of the fact that this Day of Prayer is mostly about priestly services, about religious life in orders, or about other clerical services; and that the religious orders are using it to present themselves, to say: “Hey, we’re still out there. You can come join us!” But Br. Terhorst, who had his final profession only three years ago, is convinced: “Everybody can have his own spiritual vocation.” There we go, the Pallottine concept which implies that every Catholic, every Christian is an appointed apostle: in their jobs, in their individual surroundings. The fact that the members of his own community have been getting fewer and fewer since the postwar years is not too negative for Br. Matthias: “During the past decades, so many liberal ideas have been achieved. These ideas enable people to realize their spiritual vocation within their individual state of life: as a father, a mother or a single, no matter what.” According to him, this would not have been possible in the years following WWII, but now it is. “This is great, isn’t it?!”, he says. Therefore in his concept, vocation takes place on three levels: as a general spiritual vocation, in which is eager to help anybody as a Pallottine, as the vocation of the young people he is accompanying as a teacher, and who are trying to achieve their own concepts of living, and as representative for the pastoral vocation of the Pallotines. Within the last context, he accompanies young men who are eager to get to know the Pallottine life and who are seriously thinking about: “Wouldn’t that be something for me?”

One Contact Person:

Br. Terhorst’s job here, is mostly about coordination. Whenever anyone is thinking about joining the Pallottine community, no matter if in Berlin or Salzburg, he is the one person to be contacted. He also cares about how things can go on on-site. And even if, basically, every Pallottine can accompany people on their way, there are special contact persons in charge of vocation in the different regions. They deal with the central question: “What is it exactly that this young man needs and is searching for?”

Br. Matthias Terhorst will certainly bring all these ideas into his prayers on the 3rd of May, when he will take part in the joint vespers at 3 o’clock p.m. to which the diocese of Münster has invited all religious orders. And maybe he will also be thinking about his own vocation which led him to the Pallottine community.

Was ist meine Berufung?

Weltgebetstag um geistliche Berufungen

Der Welttag für geistliche Berufungen ist der weltweite jährliche Gebetstag, um geistliche Berufe zum Priestertum und zum gottgeweihtem Leben in der römisch-katholischen Kirche. Er wird am 4. Sonntag in der Osterzeit begangen (Sonntag vom Guten Hirten). Papst Paul VI. führte den „Welttag für die Berufungen” 1964 ein. In diesem Jahr steht er unter dem Motto „Habt keine Angst“.

Text: Alexander Schweda
Images: Arne Böcker (Porträt), Joseph Barrientos Unsplash (Meer)
Translation: Steffi Ettenberger

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