The vocation to a single life is a true vocation in the Catholic Church and can be a fulfilling way to serve God and others. In an article entitled “Flying Solo: Life as a Single Catholic,” the author speaks from her own experience as a single adult Catholic:
“The greatest gift the church offers to single people is a place to belong. God calls us and takes us as we are, and singles need to be reminded that our presence among the body of Christ is sufficient on its own. For single people in particular, there is great comfort in knowing that God beholds the entirety of our lives. We each bring a unique set of gifts, passions, personal history, and a myriad of relationships. There is so much more to a single person than their state in life. Our belonging to God, our holiness, is certainly not dependent upon our marital status.”
“Discovering one’s vocation is more than deciding whether to get married, join the seminary, or enter a religious community. Finding one’s vocation in life answers the question, ‘How is God using my life to share love with others?’“
By their baptism, God calls all Catholics to holiness regardless of their state in life. For single adult Catholics, belonging to a Catholic faith community enables them to respond to this universal call in ways that can make their lives more meaningful. With fewer family commitments, single adults typically have more time to serve. Through their service and parish involvement, they find companionship from people of all ages. With more time alone they can develop a rich prayer life, and can take advantage of the plethora of adult faith formation opportunities offered by the Church. All in all, Catholic single adults are tremendously important for life of the Church.
Launching children and moving on, this “empty-nester” stage brings important new tasks into the marital relationship. Couples must renegotiate their marital partnership – once again it is just the two of them. Often it’s a time to rediscover each other – a beautiful new beginning. As adult children marry and gain in-laws, new family members become part of the family system. If blessed with grandchildren, these couples may have a major influence on their grandchildren’s lives, and may take a major role in passing on the Catholic faith.
This is an ideal time to increase involvement in the parish, become a student of the Catholic faith through adult faith formation opportunities, and begin serving others out of their lived experience through parish marriage ministry or by serving on a local parish Pre-Cana team.