Ten Ways to Promote Vocations
- 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.
- Teach young people how to pray. Pope 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.
- 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. "Mary, I see in you (ICNU) the qualities that would make a good sister, and I want to encourage you to pray about it." It is a non-invasive way to encourage openness to a religious vocation.
- Make it attractive. Show the religious life for what it truly is -a call to be united to Christ in a unique way, and to be a spiritual mentor to those she encounters in her life and service. The challenge religious is to be joyful models of their vocations.
- Preach it! 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 those of us who live the life. Vocations kept out of sight are out of mind.
Ideas to pass on to your youth minister for those considering a vocation:
- 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.
- Enter into the Silence. Silence is a key to sanity and wholeness. We can only "hear" the voice of God if we are quiet. Take out the ear buds of your phone, 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.
- Be a good disciple. 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.
- 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.
- 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.