The Vocation of Single Life

12 August 2022
Image: Thérèse Westby/Unsplash


National Vocations Awareness Week runs from 7 to 14 August.

Some people realise that God’s call is not to marriage. They think that maybe this means religious life or priesthood but they know deep down that such a life is not for them. Or the opposite might be true. They know God is not calling them to religious life so they think they must be called to marriage, and they are not really comfortable with that choice either. Such people need to look at the call to the Single Life. This is not “I just don’t fit” anywhere else but is a real call and it can be expressed in a variety of ways.

All life choices will involve struggle, challenge, complications, as well as the joy, satisfaction and a deep and lasting peace.

Some of those who feel called to the Single Life put time and energy into a ministry to which they also feel called. They do this alone. There is no community. No spouse. Easy? I guess not! But for some, this is the only way they can be the person God has called them to be. At the same time, these “singles” are normally most wonderful siblings, aunts or uncles. This may be the call for them.

For some singles, the call is to be a missionary and they share their life as lay people in the mission field. As a single person, they have the time and freedom to devote several years or a lifetime to such a call.

For some, the call is to some form of consecration. It may be to a third order, as an Oblate or as a Consecrated Virgin.

Some choose to dedicate their life to work for the Church in various fields and remain single. Some may feel the call to the Permanent Diaconate.

Like marriage and religious life, relationship with God and others needs to be developed and nurtured. It is in this relationship that you will discover more of where God is calling you.

Within in call to marriage, there will also be a call to service of the Christian community. This could be Parish Ministry. Reader, Eucharist minister, Catechist, and the variety of other ministries within parish. God may be calling to the Permanent Diaconate.

The call may be to give some time as a missionary.

There may be a call to service of the poor through organisations like St Vincent de Paul or the Legion of Mary.

BUT in marriage, the call to ministry needs always to be negotiated with your spouse. Ministry is always a joint venture for married couples, even if only one of you is actually ‘doing’ the work.

To learn more about vocations in the Diocese of Parramatta, please visit

With thanks to Catholic Vocations Ministry Australia.


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