Speaker emphasizes oft-neglected aspects of vocation, discernment


Students gathered in the Gentile Gallery the night of Sept. 16 to hear the concluding lecture of the 2019 Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium on how all vocations fit into God’s plan. 

“We’re all called to work in God’s vineyard,” said speaker Christine Jungers, a professor of clinical mental health counseling and the dean of the school of professional programs at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Jungers shared her life story through the lens of her own vocational discernment, which had led her to discern and live a vocation as a single woman. 

“I never was one of those people who said, ‘I have to be a mom,’” she said, referring to the desire many women have to be mothers either biologically or spiritually. 

Many single people ask the question “What is wrong with me?” but Jungers proposed that we should look at the single life as not a problem to be solved but rather as a mystery to live.  

The presentation involved a slideshow, in which one slide — titled “The Big Take Away!” clearly stated that each person has been called to a unique vocation.  

“Our task is to find out how we are called to serve God,” the slide read. “Make a social contribution, foster meaningful and intimate relationships that fulfill our need for closeness with others and live a life of holiness.” 

One’s vocation is something one has to put work into, Jungers noted. It’s not going to just happen. 

“Only in the unfolding of the history of our lives and its events is the eternal plan of God revealed to each of us,” said Jungers as she outlined the discernment process. “Coming to understand what is meaningful in your life is really only done by living it  making choices, reflecting on them and pondering who you are.” 

Freshman Taylor Lustig summarized one idea that stood out to her: “Your vocation is irreplaceable.” 

Kristina Beer, freshman, expressed a similar appreciation for the talk. “You are the one and only, most perfect you,” she said. 

The talk drew a crowd of over 40 students, faculty and staff, and Jungers facilitated a thought-provoking question and answer session afterward.