2019 National Vocations Awareness Week: Universal Call to Holiness through Marriage

By Rowena and Angel Penano, 8 August 2019
Rowena and Angel Penano and their children. Image: Supplied.


National Vocations Awareness Week runs from 4 to 11 August.

How can we be holy in marriage? Firstly, by the sacrament of our baptism, we are already made holy. We become children of God and sharers in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Let’s define holiness to simply be our closeness and intimacy with God. Another writer puts it as “perfect correspondence between who and what you are and who and what God wants you to be.”

When we become Mr and Mrs on our wedding day, we are not only acting on and publicly declaring our romantic feelings and physical attraction and commitment to our beloved, we are also collaborating in God’s plan for a man and a woman sharing life together in marriage, responding to God’s call like the stories in Genesis (the first book in the Holy Bible).

Marriage is a response to God’s call – a vocation.

As a married couple, we are called to be holy because God created us out of love, his self-giving love. We are called to love God back because He first loved us.

In marriage, we have the gift to worship God together, to prepare and journey for eternity together and be sent to evangelise together (Luke 10:1).

As a married couple, our call to holiness also means we love our spouse in full – self-giving instead of self-seeking. We are always looking after our spouse’s welfare, sometimes sacrificing our own. Always ready to excuse and forgive.

Our marriage is sacramental, God’s love is revealed through the couple’s love for each other, through the couple’s total self-giving and openness to new life (i.e. having children).

In the midst of jobs, kids activities, meals – ordinary family life – God’s grace is present to get through day by day. This is a way to holiness. Living family life each day in Christian love and with intentionality of strengthening the domestic church.

Marriage as a vocation and family life is a fertile ground to grow in holiness. Plenty of opportunities for saintly actions. Pope Francis recognises this and declared the theme for the 2021 World Meeting of Families to be held in Rome on June 23-27 is “Family Love: a vocation and a path to holiness”.

Rowena and Angel Penano are Pre-Marriage Educators in the Diocese of Parramatta, and are in formation to becoming a missionary couple in the Verbum Dei Community.

For more information about Vocations in the Diocese of Parramatta, please visit: www.parracatholic.org/vocations/


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