Owensboro native to speak at third annual VOCARE

Andy Day will address ‘missionary discipleship’ as living vocation

By Elizabeth Wong Barnstead, The Western Kentucky Catholic

Andy Day Headshot
Andy Day, southeast regional director of FOCUS.

Andy Day “seriously considered” a call to the priesthood in his early twenties.

Though he later discerned that this he was called instead to the lay vocation, Day says that no matter where God calls us, “living as his disciple is essential.”

“That is, living in such a way that our lives are completely conformed to his,” said Day, who will give the keynote presentation at VOCARE 2016, the Diocese of Owensboro’s annual celebration of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.

VOCARE, which means “to call” in Latin, will take place at the Owensboro Convention Center on Sept. 23 beginning at 5 p.m.

Day said that faithfulness to any vocation rests in following God “with our whole being and (participating) in his command to ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” referencing Matthew 28:18.

Day’s keynote will be titled “The Master’s Plan: Missionary Discipleship as a Living Vocation.” He plans to discuss the historical Jewish context of a disciple, and “what living as a disciple means for us in our modern world.”

Day currently serves as southeast regional director of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, shortened to FOCUS.  FOCUS missionary teams are established on numerous college campuses during the academic year, where the missionaries get to know students and guide them in introducing Jesus to their peers.  

Day said that the topic of vocations comes up frequently in his line of work with college students.

“Life on college campuses is the most critical time in a young person’s life,” he said. “They are away from home and are asking questions about their identity and about their future.”

He added the sobering detail that nearly four in five Catholics who leave the faith do so “between the ages of 18-25.”

He said this crucial decision will affect the rest of their lives and eternity, too. But if FOCUS missionaries help these young people “become who they were meant to be, our world will never be the same.”

“We have been blessed to see in our work over the years that over 500 men and women have pursued the seminary or religious life,” said Day.

He said this is just one indication that young people want to do something great with their lives.

Though he now lives with his family in Florida, Day grew up in Owensboro while attending Immaculate Parish.

“I am thrilled to come back to Owensboro!” he said. “It holds a dear place in my heart, and it is especially an honor to speak in the place I received my faith in the company of the priests and religious in the diocese.”

This story originally ran in the August 2016 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Please find a video message below from Andy Day, inviting those within the Diocese of Owensboro and beyond to attend VOCARE on September 23, 2016.

Andy Day Invitation to VOCARE 2016 from Diocese of Owensboro KY on Vimeo.