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Aug. 11, 2021

By Darcy Fargo

OGDENSBURG – A presence in the diocese for around a decade, the Diocese of Ogdensburg Vocations Society (DOVS) is looking to grow its membership as the organization works to support and foster vocations.

According to the organization’s page on the Diocese of Ogdensburg website, DOVS “is a group of faithful Catholics with the intention of promoting and supporting vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate, and consecrated religious life throughout the North Country.”

“Currently, we have 43 members,” said Connie Randall, DOVS president. “We also have patrons – donors who support our mission, but don’t actively participate.”

DOVS members typically gather once a month for meetings, though the pandemic slowed meetings for a time. Currently, because the majority of DOVS members reside in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, meetings are held in that area. DOVS would like to hold meetings in other parts of the diocese, as well.

“From a diocesan perspective, DOVS isn’t just important as a group that supports vocations, but it’s also a real ministry for lay people to get involved in and exercise their baptismal commitment,” said diocesan Vocations Coordinator Cathy Russell, the group’s liaison to the diocesan Vocations Office. “Everyone in DOVS grows spiritually.”

“I’ve grown in my faith through my participation in DOVS,” added Shirley Therrien, one of the DOVS two vice-presidents. “And I’ve met some really great people.”

As an organization, the DOVS support events and efforts of the Vocations Office, as well as diocesan seminarians, clergy and religious. DOVS have provided snacks and gift packets for middle school vocations retreats; funding for snacks or meals for clergy events, including continuing education; books promoting vocations to area Catholic schools; picnic lunches for seminarians at their annual summer gathering; gifts for newly ordained priests; holy cards praying for diocesan seminarians and vocations; and luncheons for consecrated religious, priests and deacons.

“We get to know the seminarians,” said Therrien. “It’s nice because then we know them when they become priests and may be assigned to our parishes.”

“We’ve been looking at what more we can do for our consecrated religious,” added Randall. “We’re looking at having an event with the Sisters of St. Joseph.”

Randall said the event may include Mass and a Holy Hour, and possibly a speaker and luncheon.

The DOVS also send cards or gifts to priests and consecrated religious celebrating anniversaries or feast days, seminarians celebrating birthdays, and for other occasions and happenings.

Members of the DOVS can be frequently seen volunteering at diocesan events or attending them as a group.

“The DOVS wear sashes that identify them,” Russell said.

The organization also typically hosts a pilgrimage each year to visit sacred sites and pray for vocations, as well as to foster fellowship within the organization. Pilgrimages have been on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the DOVS hope to host pilgrimages again in the future.

The organization also holds an annual event, typically at the Lodge at Camp Guggenheim, exclusively for DOVS members. The event includes prayer, time for fellowship and a guest speaker.

To learn more about the Diocese of Ogdensburg Vocations Society, or to join the DOVS, visit rcdony.org/vocations/dovs or contact Randall at 315-265-2762.


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