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Every Christian is a Vocation Promoter
Because all of us are called by our baptism to help build up the Kingdom of God, all of us are called to help our brothers and sisters find God’s will in their life. It follows then that all of us are called to help where we can in guiding people in their vocational discernment. This truth may be simple to see, but how we go about doing it takes more thought.
The Family is the School of Vocation
The influence our family has on our life is profound. Our parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and close family friends form our ways of thinking, interacting, praying, living, and seeing the world. Therefore, the Christian family is the first and most important guide in our journey to our vocation.
Parents should not be afraid to talk about the Church vocations with their children. Children learn about life starting from their parents, so help them to understand that being a priest, deacon, sister, or brother is a viable option for life.
Sometimes parents are worried that they will lose their child to the Church, or they are saddened that their child will be giving up marriage – and not giving them any grandchildren. However, parents should ask themselves if they have given their children all they need in order to truly discern God’s will in their lives. If a child follows God’s will, then things will work out well.
The whole family then has the role of supporting the vocation journey of a candidate. Formation can be difficult because so many things are changing. Having family support can really alleviate a good deal of stress. Give the candidate a place to relax, offer encouragement, and above all pray!
The Parish is Where We Learn How to Serve
Parish priests, religious staff, ministry leaders, and all parishioners should have a passion for vocation ministry. The Church vocations are what allow parishes to exist. What would our parishes be without priest to celebrate the sacraments and lead the community? How would our Church suffer if Sisters and Brothers were not around to serve and witness to us? So, each parish should work to foster vocations and awareness of the call.
There are many ways to foster vocations in the parish. Try inviting more young people to serve in the parish ministries. You could post pictures of the seminarians and religious in the Archdiocese. You can devote some of the parish’s religious education classes to teaching about vocations. A parish can invite the Archdiocese Vocation Committee out to do a session for your parish’s youth and young adults. You can find passionate people to start your parish’s own vocation committee. We have resources to help you make these ideas a reality for your parish community. Call and ask the Vocation Office what options there are for vocation promotion.
Join an Organization that Support Vocations
The Archdiocesan Lay Vocation Promoters endeavor in a special way to promote vocations in the Archdiocese of San Antonio to the ordained priesthood and consecrated life. Through prayer, service, and support to the Archdiocese of San Antonio Vocation Office, we encourage and affirm vocations in the Catholic Church. In addition, through speakers, programs and reflection days, members will grow in their own lives to respond to God’s call to holiness in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit.
Knights of Columbus
The official plan for every Knights of Columbus council includes a Vocations component. The Knights sponsor discernment events, raise awareness of vocations (especially through their Squires program) and support those in discernment, formation, and active ministry. Here in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, the Knights of Columbus hold an Appreciation Gala for priests, deacons, sisters, brothers, seminarians, and religious candidates.
Catholic Daughters of the Americas
Many Catholic Daughters courts support men and women in formation. The national organization also leads initiatives, such as organized prayer for the recent Year for Priests, that raise awareness and give a face to vocations.
Parishes throughout the United States and the world have Guadalupana Societies that help young people join the community in prayer for the various needs of the parish. These societies are a wonderful way to engage the people of God in active ministry and discernment.