As we celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, we are reminded of this year’s theme, “Family Created for Love.” We are privileged to have such a family right here in our Carmel! The seed of vocations start in the home and the divine Gardener found fertile soil in the family of Sister Mary Augustine. Join us as we present the many ways vocations can “flower!”

Dad (Rosalio Batres): God has a divine plan for each one of us. God made it possible for my wife and me to meet and get to know each other. We dated for six months, and unfortunately, we separated, and after a year and a half of separation, we met again and continued our courtship. When we got married and started having children, we never thought about how many children we wanted to have. At first, it was not even easy for us to have children, but God ended up blessing us with eleven of our own. We never know what awaits us in the future, but God always provides and has in store for us what is best for us because he loves us.

Mom (Rosa Maria Batres): As a wife, life can be difficult – but you have a mix of everything, sufferings, and joys, as you come to realize how we both grew up with different ideas and customs. As a mother, we also experience everything: joys, sorrows, and suffering, because each child is unique and has his own special way of being. If we walk alone, we just cannot do it. But if we pray to God our Father and “Mama Lupita” we feel their protection and peace. A good friend of ours, Fr. Vlatko, used to tell me, “There are Fridays of suffering and joy in the Resurrection of Jesus – that is always the good thing in life”. We have been married for 47 years now, thank God, and blessed with 11 children, 15 grandchildren and 5 spouses of my children.

Sr. Catalina Marie: As a Felician Franciscan Sister, I find the beauty of my vocation in God’s infinite love for me. In my parent’s love for each one of us, I have caught a glimpse of God’s unconditional love. Through their prayerfulness, service, and love of others, they have nourished my call of seeking God’s will with love and joy as a religious sister. Deo Gratias!

Gerry & Maria Aguirre: Dad & Mom have been a beautiful example of faith and love and an inspiration to us in their vocation of marriage. We have seen them go through many happy, challenging and trying moments – but we also see that in all moments of their life, they have always turned to God, and that is where they draw their strength from. God has given them the grace to “stick together” and to choose to love. Whether they celebrate joys or experience suffering, they continue to be there for each other, serve each other and sacrifice for each other. We are all called to love like this in our marriages.

Sr. Maria Augustine, OCD: Everyone’s vocation is unique. I am grateful to God for having chosen me to know Him, love Him and serve Him as a Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. It was through the fidelity and love of my parents first and foremost to God, to themselves and then to us, their children, that taught me God must be number one and that seeking His will for my life is what brings true happiness. He is, after all, the source of our being!

Fr. Miguel Batres, O.Praem: All too often we think fidelity is something we do on our own. The example my parents have given me has always been something that I can look at and remind myself that fidelity is lived in good times and bad. I often have to ask myself, how can one find the strength to be faithful? The example of my parents answers that. Fidelity in any vocation, the married life, the religious life, the priestly life depends on one’s fidelity to God. It is God’s faithfulness to us that allows us to be faithful to him and to one another. Thanks be to God.

Andrew Batres: The example our parents have provided, firstly, gives us hope that all things are possible through God. Seeing how God has worked with, and through, my parents on a daily basis lets me know that God is always here to guide and protect us. Through their example, I have learned that if all my actions are rooted in love, God will provide me with hints and whispers of what His will is for me.