Advocating for Vocations in My Area of Ministry
So, you’re a campus minister, youth minister, parish priest, catechetical leader or catechist. You accompany young people and advocate for vocations within your area of ministry. How can you best engage today’s generation of young people in discerning God’s calling for their lives?
Here’s a Top Ten:
- Pray – for an increase in vocations every day and for the Holy Spirit to guide you to accompany young people and engage them to open their hearts to God’s call, whatever that might be.
- Be in relationship – with them and their families. Develop an intentional plan for ongoing outreach.
- Affirm their gifts, talents, and skills – young people are in the process of discovering who they are and deciding to take ownership of the values passed on to them for themselves. It is common that these years can leave them feeling confused and uncertain. Affirming what you see and experience in them can help them in identifying their strengths, assisting them in their discernment of vocation – both the little ones (post-high school endeavors, careers, financial planning and stewardship, etc.) and the bigger ones (married life, religious life, or priesthood).
- Create an environment conducive to discerning one’s vocation – through posters, images, informational brochures, and setting a safe space to encourage honest discussion and sharing, without judgment, for the exploration of the various vocations. Provide opportunities for both individuals and the group to deepen their prayer life and participate in the sacraments.
- Invite priests, religious, and married couples to engage with the young people – through informal gatherings and meals, or in serving the community together, where the realness of the vocation can be discussed and shared. Mentors are too important and impactful for young people to inspire their own lives through their example. Provide this for them.
- Invite them to share stories of how married couples, religious, and priests, through their own experiences, have made a difference, caused them to think and reflect, gave them hope, etc.
- Send notes of thanks to a priest, religious, or married couple for the gift and impact of their vocation in the Church and in the world.
- Host a gathering for each vocation, with a panel – for priests, religious, and married couples to talk about their day-to-day, their greatest blessings and challenges in their vocation, their relationship and commitment to God, the community, and to each other, and invite questions and discussions.
- Make connections between the young people and vocations directors when the timing is right.
- Reach out to us in the Vocations Office – we’re here to assist you any way we can.