Encouraging Vocations

Invite those around you to consider a vocation!

There’s a young man at Mass every morning. He arrives early to say the rosary with the faithful chorus of seniors. You see him participating in faith formation events in your parish. In conversation, he has a love for the Church and a desire to serve. It dawns on you that he might have a vocation…. what do you do? Do you accept the promptings of the Holy Spirit and invite him right then and there to consider a vocation? Or do you leave that to the vocation director who has probably never met the young man? 

It has been proven that a personal invitation from someone who knows the candidate to consider a vocation carries even more weight in their discernment than an invitation from the vocation director.

What vocations can you invite in your community today? If you can’t think of what to say, the Serra Club of Davenport has created “ASK” cards for a non-verbal way to invite someone to consider a religious vocation. Contact a Serra member for more information. 

 

Help start a Vocation Committee in your parish!

Rhonda Gruenewald of Vocation Ministry has written a book called “Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry” that includes step-by-step resources for easily starting a vocation committee in your parish. In addition, there is an online component that is full of great resources to set you up for success from square one. Vocations don’t come from the vocation director, they come from your personal invitations and investment in your parish, no experience required! Click for more info!

 

 

Join the Serra Club of Davenport

Want to help encourage and promote vocations throughout the Davenport Diocese? Contact the Office of Vocations or one of the current Serra Club members!

Bill Barrett, President
Peg Beaudry, Secretary
John Stratman, Treasurer

 

Pray for Vocations

Pope Francis says, “Vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit.” Pray daily for an increase in vocations, for our seminarians, priests, religious, deacons, Bishop Zinkula, and all those discerning their vocation. To join in spiritual community with others, sign up for the Invisible Monastery, a free organization where you pledge to pray for vocations in your diocese. Click the picture to sign up online. Call the Office of Vocations at (563) 888-4378 if you need assistance.

 

Top Ten Things To Promote Vocations

For All Catholics:

1. Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. Jesus says in Matthew 9:38 “to beg the master of the harvest to send laborers into the vineyard.” If we want more priests, sisters and brothers, we all need to ask.

2. Teach young people how to pray. Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI said that unless we teach our youth how to pray, they will never hear God calling them into a deeper relationship with Him and into the discipleship of the Church.

3. Invite active young adults and teens to consider a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life. A simple, sincere comment should not be underestimated. An easy way to do this can be remembered by four letters: ICNU. “John, I see in you (ICNU) the qualities that would make a good priest, and I want to encourage you to pray about it.” It is a non-invasive way to encourage openness to a religious vocation.

4. Make it attractive. Show the priesthood for what it truly is – a call to be a spiritual father to the whole family of faith. Similarly, the consecrated life for a young woman is a call to be united to Christ in a unique way, and to be a spiritual mother to those she encounters in her life and service. The challenge for priests and religious is to be joyful models of their vocations.

5. Preach it, brother! Vocations must be talked about regularly if a “vocation culture” is to take root in parishes and homes. This means, first and foremost, the people need to hear about vocations from priests through homilies, prayers of the faithful, and discussions in the classroom. Vocations kept out of sight are out of mind.

For those considering a vocation:

6. Practice the faith. We all need to be reminded that the whole point of our lives is to grow in a deep, intimate and loving relationship with God. This is the first step for any young person desiring to discern any call in life.

7. Enter into the Silence. Silence is key to sanity and wholeness. We can only “hear” the voice of God if we are quiet. Take out the ear buds of your iPhone, iPod, and iTunes and listen to God, the great I AM. Young people should try to spend 15 minutes of quiet prayer each day – this is where you can begin to receive clear direction in your lives.

8. Be a good disciple. Some bishops say, “We do not have a vocation crisis; we have a discipleship crisis.” Young people can become true followers of Jesus Christ by serving those around them. By discovering your call to discipleship, you also discover your particular call within the Church.

9. Ask God. Ask God what He wants for your life and know He only wants what is good for you. If, in fact, you are called to the priesthood or consecrated life, it will be the path to great joy and contentment.

10. In the immortal words of a famous sneaker manufacturer: “Just do it!” If you feel that God is inviting you to “try it out,” apply to the seminary or religious order. Remember, the seminary or convent is a place of discernment. You will not be ordained or asked to profess vows for many years, providing ample opportunity to explore the possibility of a call to priesthood or religious life.

 

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, http://www.usccb.org