Every month, we suggest a Faith Practice which you and your home, school or parish community might like to take on as part of your commitment for the Year of Faith. It is our hope that these simple practices will stir in us the ‘renewed conversion of the Lord’ that Pope Benedict XVI calls for in Porta Fidei (n. 6).
Faith Practice Thirteen: Encouraging Vocations
We are all conscious that the number of men and women responding to the call to ministry as priests and religious are falling. As the Year of Faith comes to an end, consider what you can do to nurture vocations to the priesthood and to religious life in your parish community. Here are some examples:
1. Say thank you
We all know that it feels good to be thanked for a job well done. This month, make a special effort to say ‘thanks’ to a priest or religious. It is encouraging for them to feel that the generosity of their lives is appreciated. This appreciation sheds a positive light on priestly and religious vocations. Your show of gratitude may also lead others to do the same.
2. Extend an invitation
Many people claim that they were never invited to explore a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. This month, chat to a young person who you think might have a religious or priestly vocation. Your invitation could make a difference in someone’s life.
3. Serve in parish ministry
In the gospels, Jesus directs each of us to a life of service. Your service in the activities of your parish will help create the life-giving environment necessary for the nurturing of religious and priestly vocations. This month, consider the ways in which you are of service to your own parish community. In what ways could you renew this vocation?
Of all the ways we can work toward the increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, prayer is undoubtedly essential. This month, make a commitment to pray for this intention every day. Also consider praying for a particular priest or religious in your parish.
5. Tell your vocation story
If you are a priest or a member of a religious community, consider sharing your own vocation story this month. This may be particularly effective with a group of young people. Alternatively, you could write a piece for a parish newsletter or website. Telling people that you value your vocation will help them to understand that religious life is fulfilling and meaningful.
Previous Faith Practices of the Month:
September 2013: Understanding the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
August 2013: Seeing God in All Things
July 2013: Encouraging Yound Adults in the Life of the Church
June 2013: Praying with the Scriptures Daily
May 2013: Pilgrimage
April 2013: Supporting Catholic Education
March 2013: Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation
February 2013: Lenten Practices
January 2013: Performing Corporal Works of Mercy
December 2012: Enthroning the Christmas Crib
November 2012: Praying for those who have died
October 2012: Pray part of the Rosary every day