Harvey brought out the vocation to holiness in everyone

October 24, 2017

We all know what we were doing and where we were during the events of Hurricane Harvey. And most of us never lost power, so we watched the whole thing unfold as our local media did a wonderful job of bringing us great information.

I was moved watching so many people sacrifice so much to help others. The generosity I witnessed was unlike any other human response I have ever seen.

Maybe some of you saw the stories I did:
• The man from Rockport who evacuated to San Antonio with his truck and his boat. When he saw he had nothing to go back to, he came to Houston and started fishing people out of their homes into safety. He was able to tell those he rescued, “I know how you feel. I lost everything except this boat that saved your life.”

• The man who bought a boat in Austin and drove to Houston to use that brand new boat to give people a ride to safety along the Addicks reservoir.

• The countless stories of people who showed up in neighborhoods that had been flooded and helping cut sheetrock and move trash to the streets.

All these stories touched on the same internal drive to help others. People are holy and they want to do something for others. Following the storm, everyone was motivated by the call to holiness and did whatever it took to help a neighbor.

My hope and prayers is that it finds a way to continue in our city and maybe even in our culture.

We were not divided by race, creed, background, citizenship, age, gender, or anything else when our region was enduring a flood of biblical proportions. We simply did what was right.

I ask you to join me in prayer that we may continue to do what is right as we continue to rebuild. If we all act like we did during and immediately after the storm, our world will be a better place.

Collectively, we set aside the things that are not really important as we struggled to survive and sought to help those in danger. God was certainly working through us as we were led to be good Samaritans to those most in need.

As vocations director, I’m hoping the storm was a catalyst to help young people discern their vocation in life. Maybe more people will now ask, “What can I do to make a difference?” Finding one’s vocation is about following God’s will for us and helping make this world a better place.

Maybe more people will be open to the priesthood and religious life now because they’ve seen what incredible generosity can do for others. Maybe more people will realize they can make a difference in the lives of others by serving the Church.

Please join me in praying for our city as we recover. And please join me in praying that all of us may strive to seek our vocation to follow God and grow in holiness.

Who knows, maybe Hurricane Harvey can lead to more vocations to the Church?

Father T.J. Dolce is the director of the Archdiocesan Office of Vocations.