20 Jul Help him to hear and listen to God’s call
Testimony: Linda Abels
My husband Larry and I will be married 36 years in May. We both came from strong, Catholic families. My husband is music director at our parish of Our Lady of Hope; and we are both involved in numerous parish ministries.
We have two sons; Kevin, who is 33 years old and was ordained to the priesthood in 2003 and his brother John, who is 31 and married with a precious little girl. Our boys were raised in a Catholic home, they enjoying all the things little boys like to do: sports, karate, matchbox cars, etc. As I reflect back on our family’s life, it becomes more apparent to me that God began planting the seeds of priesthood in our son Kevin at an early age. I now can see how God began whispering to Kevin in gradual and subtle ways…he liked to play Mass at an early age; he would serve all Sunday Masses as an altar server; he was the weekend sacristan at our parish. At the age of thirteen, our Kevin decided that he wanted to attend Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, the high school seminary of the Diocese; it became apparent that God had a plan for him.
I truly believe that a priestly vocation affects an entire family. We struggled with many issues: he’ll never marry and have children; will he be lonely; will he be happy and fulfilled; who will take care of him in his later years? As a mother, these issues are taken to heart very seriously. We love and nurture our children and want the very best for them. During Kevin’s discernment, it became clear that he was strong in his love and commitment to God and the priesthood. We are so very proud of him; through his powerful gift of preaching, the Holy Spirit has enabled him to touch the lives of both young and old, encouraging and counseling those with whom he comes in contact with. If you think your son has a calling, as a parent, you have a responsibility to pray for him and to encourage it. Help him to hear and listen to God’s call. We need priests, for without them there will be no Eucharist. Today’s clergy face many challenges; and now more that every, priests need the love and support of the families, they need our prayers. A vocation is a blessing and our family will continue to love and support our son as he continues to live his priesthood. I walk silently along with him and ask our Blessed Mother to watch over and guide him for I know in my heart that he is doing what he was put on this earth to do: serve God and His people!
Linda Abels is the mother of Fr. Kevin Abels ‘04
Fr. Abels is the Pastor of St. Sebastian Parish, Woodside.