ST. BONIFACE — Single people often forget to welcome their state as an opportunity to enjoy the present without worrying about the future. Being Single: The Catholic Version was meant to remind them of this.
The Archdiocese of St. Boniface organized its first evening of this sort a year ago in November 2014. Fifty young adults attended, one of whom was Nicole Richard.“As a single person, I’m always asking myself what God is calling me to be and this event seemed as if it might be interesting for me,” she recalls.
The evening consisted of sharing personal stories and watching a video of a single woman from Saskatoon, Gertrude Rompré. She explained how she didn’t worry about whether God was calling her to be single forever or not; rather, she concentrated on the present without worrying about “What if . . . ?”
The participants discussed and reflected in small groups on how to live a single life as a disciple of Christ. “It helped me understand that I have a career that I love, a great group of friends; so I don’t have to worry!” said Richard. “I trust that God will help me at each step of the way and I definitely don’t have to find the answer all by myself.
“Consecrated celibacy can be a vocation, but as wonderful as that can be, if you don’t feel called to this life, it’s OK,” she continued. “I now feel that I can follow God in my life just as it is right now, without being obligated to remain single long-term.”
The event also highlighted the advantages of a period of singleness in life, the ability to go away, the opportunity to get to know yourself better, or the opportunity to take more time for you without having too many responsibilities. Richard came to understand through her discussions with other singles that she has the right to choose where she would serve and to say no to some requests for help, “even if technically I do have the time to do it,” she said.
“Because we are single, we are very often asked to participate in all kinds of committees and groups. And if we never say no, we’ll burn out easily. We have the right to take time for ourselves to pray and relax. It’s actually important in order to serve well.
“I had the grace to understand that the best way for me to discover my vocation was to concentrate on getting to know Jesus,” she concluded. “He knows what will make me whole. Through him, I will find everything I need. I am not worried about the future.”
A similar evening of discussion and reflection will take place Nov. 17 at 6:30 pm in Hanley Hall at St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba. This year’s theme will be What’s my Vocation?