The workshop in Joliet was the vision of one amazing Serran, John Matyasik! He called me one day and asked if I would come to his diocese. He quickly brought the Vocation Director Fr. Burke Masters on board who was also supportive of this effort.
John is president of the rocking Serra Club of DuPage County; they have fun while seriously promoting vocations. I was so impressed that they were able to get 75 people, representing 33 parishes, to attend. While Vocation Ministry was a fairly new concept for them, I met my first ministry that was already in Phase 2! Attendees were very familiar with the language of vocations, too; something that is rare. I was pleasantly surprised.
The parishioners were so enthusiastic about what they were learning and seemed to embrace their task ahead with gusto! I signed books for quite a while after the event, too!
I was so grateful that Fr. Burke asked me to come back in the fall to speak to their clergy in Joliet. God is so good!
John had a first class relic of St. Junipero Serra, one of the patron saints of Vocations and the saint for which the Serra Club was named. St. Serra, continue to pray for all those working in the field of vocations, especially Serrans!