February 15-16, 2017
Highlights of a great Day 2 in Chicago:
- Stayed at Marytown, also known as The National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe- amazing!
- Met with Michael Wick and Jenny Drelich to brainstorm ideas to promote religious life
- Had incredible lunch at Ditka’s, as in Mike Ditka, Coach of the Chicago Bears with Fr. Francis Bitterman, Vocation Director for Chicago
- Taped a radio show with Fr. Francis all about vocations, of course!
- Had delicious deep dish pizza with 12 awesome college seminarians from St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University. Please say a Hail Mary for each of them!
Then, the big day arrived. I can’t tell you how excited I was to speak with the 425 priests of Chicago in attendance! They received the Vocation Ministry message well and bought many books! Praise God! I sat next to Cardinal Cupich as a bonus! I love subtle (and not so subtle) hints from the Holy Spirit. The antiphon we sang (Holy Spirit, Come to Us)! The Holy Spirit was with us!
During the day, the Office of Vocations shared information about a survey they conducted of the 6th-12th graders in Chicago Catholic schools. 4, 182 responded, representing 179 parishes, 66 elementary schools, and 11 high schools. The eye-popping results were:
216 boys answered that they have thought about being a priest
79% of those are open to speaking with a priest
171 girls answered that they have thought about being a sister
76% of those are open to speaking with a religious sister about this calling
Another standout was that only 28% knew what to do to learn more or how to explore a vocation to the priesthood or religious life further.
So much work to do!
St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us!