Here are some ideas which any parish can utilize and seriously encourage vocations within their midst. Your parish can actively produce vocations. Parishes must be proactive in promoting, encouraging and confirming vocations.
It’s not the job of the seminary. It’s not the job of the OCF, or the dance group, or the Sunday school.
It is the job of the entire parish, and each person within the parish.
It’s my job (which is why I built this site).
It’s your job, too.
Have a look at the list below and see if any of these pop out as possible!
- Four times each calendar year a month will have a fifth Sunday. Make the fifth Sunday a Parish Vocation Sunday.
- The Sunday liturgies could have the special intention for more vocations to the priesthood (possibly with monastic life).
- The general direction of the parish for that Sunday would be toward vocations and ministry within the Church and the parish.
- The homily could be directed to Christian service, the call to priesthood and monastic life.
- There could be a parish “Vocation” prayer which is said each day by all parishioners.
- Include bulletin material to regularly highlight holy vocations in your weekly bulletin and on your website.
- Each parish staff member could write a personal reflection of his or her ministry
- Be certain there are relevant pamphlets and books on the priesthood and monastic life in your parish book rack.
- Have a VOCATION Bulletin Board in the gathering space of the church. Display Vocation Posters, Seminary Posters, information on priesthood. Arrange for photos and stories highlighting priests and deacons from the parish or the area.
- Invite the sick and shut-ins to pray for vocations. Supply them with prayer cards.
- Make available to students information about vocation events sponsored by the Metropolis/Diocese or Seminaries.
- Offer a program where all parishioners can discuss the idea of the Christian Vocation and the different states and circumstances of life. Then, arrange informal home meetings with families where priests, and laity can continue the discussion during the year.
- Suggest that the parish youth and young adult groups spend one evening talking about priesthood and religious life. Provide discussion aids, if requested.
- Suggest that parish groups spend one evening discussing priesthood or religious life and how they can encourage vocations in the local parish.
- Invite small groups to share prayer and a meal with clergy in a location outside of church.
- Sponsor a contest with Vocation awareness themes such as creative writing, posters, pics, etc.
- Invite seminary faculty and parish priests to share their ‘vocation story’ with students.
- Encourage students to pray so that they might discover and use the gifts that God has given them.
- Guide students in the development of the habit of personal prayer for discernment of their vocations.
- Build Vocation Awareness education into the curriculum.
- Celebrate a Vocation Awareness Week.
- Acquaint students with various types of Church vocations and ministries.
- Incorporate vocation themes into regular classroom prayer.
- Have each student pray for one seminarian or novice by name. Encourage the student to write to the seminarian or novice.
- Bring to attention of the students graduates and former parishioners who are priests, deacons, subdeacons, monks, and nuns.
- Make available priestly vocation material in the narthex.
- Explore through Scripture different ways that God calls people and the various responses to that call.