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Vocation.com at the service of the Church
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How does the Legionary-run vocation site help diocesan vocation directors?

Página web de Vocation.com

Vocation.com has become a leading resource on the internet for young men and women discerning a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life. Begun as a project of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, it has always had a focus of helping each individual discern his or her true vocation, wherever that might lead. Toward this end, the Legionaries have held strategy sessions with diocesan vocation directors and are collaborating with the Bishops’ office for vocations.

Father Anthony Bannon, LC, who has written three books on vocational discernment and personally answers many inquiries a month from visitors to vocation.com, has analyzed the Legionaries’ experience and made a number of observations he believes can help diocesan vocation directors:

“We realized that in many cases we were barely tapping the potential for good vocational cultivation in parishes and dioceses. Seeing how busy pastors are, and how limited the personnel resources of vocation.com are, we also asked how can we prepare and work with lay people to do much of the leg work? We first considered creating a comprehensive “kit” for parishes and dioceses.  However, conversations with vocation directors at our first strategy conference advised against this, and rather to focus our efforts on developing a strategy and materials that would back it up.

“With the help of some diocesan vocation directors, we identified some constant elements that effect the cultivation of vocations and that could be woven into a method or tool for more effective promotion and cultivation of vocations.”

Toward that end, vocation.com has examined the spiritual and sociological factors that help produce vocations. They include:

o Family background and authentic Catholic family life. Including:

  • Catechesis (of and in the family)
  • Family values that include openness to life
  • Authentic understanding of vocation and parents’ openness to a vocation in their children

o Instruction in the faith & youth programs (outside of school and CCD)

  • the development of age-appropriate, spiritual and formative youth programs that challenge the youth to give their best for Christ
  • opportunities for service to God and others

o Prayer and development of a deep spiritual life

  • spiritual direction and vocational guidance for young people
  • the need to form priests to give vocational guidance and spiritual direction to youth
  • vocational meetings and clubs for teens and college aged youth

Vocation.com is therefore
Fr. Jason Jalbert.
Fr Jason Jalbert, the parrochial vicar at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Rochester, NH.
working to put at the disposition of parishes and dioceses programs to enhance family life, improve family prayer with a focus on praying for vocations, and bring a depth of formation to our young people.

Strategy sessions in May and October 2005 with vocation directors and parish priests found that they are not looking for another “overall” program to implement.  The reasons were:

  • Priests are on “different pages” and come to vocation work from different levels of formation and with different styles of approach.  One program does not fit all.
  • Many vocation directors have put together their own “notebooks” or programs. However, they all have “holes” or gaps they are looking to fill.
  • Kits or overall programs are often cumbersome or hard to implement and end up “sitting on a shelf”.

This lead to the conclusion to work towards developing an overall strategy and approach, backed up with easy-to-implement, pick-and-choose programs.  There is also a need for inter-parochial programs and approaches that can be implemented
Mother Delores Hart
Mother Delores Hart, cloistered nun at the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethehem, Connecticut.
by a network of young priests, supporting each other as a team.

Consequently, vocation.com has adapted its content in the following ways:

o Additional testimonies of diocesan priests and religious were added to the site.

o Wording was added to indicate more clearly that the website is sponsored by the Legion of Christ but at the service of vocations in general

o Links were added to the NCDVD to lead an interested young man straight to his diocesan vocation director, rather than the general diocesan site.

o Link to Guide to Religious Ministries.

o A list of regional and national vocation events

  • Events are being posted from the National Catholic Register
  • Diocesan vocation directors can now list their own activities and events on vocation.com at no cost.

It is the sincere hope of the Legionaries of Christ that our efforts in vocation.com will support and augment vocation efforts for the Church at all levels in all places. We welcome suggestions to further improve vocation.com as a resource for the Church.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2006-02-24


 
 

Related links

ePriest
Sacerdos
Vocation Action Network


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