Why in the parish setting?
The primary mission of any parish vocation ministry is to help all parishioners discern God’s will in their lives, no matter the calling. Focus on this goal, and in God’s time, vocations will flourish, leading to more seminarians, religious men and women in formation, and holier marriages. A vocation ministry must pray and implement uplifting and encouraging activities that create a fertile environment so God can plant the seed and the Holy Spirit can water that seed in the hearts of individuals.
Start small and simple, then grow in size and depth. Each ministry must prayerfully and logically assess its ability to implement each activity. Pay prayerful and careful consideration to the section on phases, and use first-hand advice to choose the most appropriate activities for the different stages in the ministry’s life. Measure success over years, not months, so leaders and participants remain encouraged when faced with obstacles or with what feels like slow progress. Focus on the basics and allow God to bring the harvest.
Laying the Groundwork
The activities in Phase I are vitally important for the early and long-term success of a Vocation Ministry—and the peace, energy, and joy of the volunteers involved…
Establishing a Presence
While God inspires all vocations, programs and activities can invite and encourage individuals to be open to God’s call to a religious vocation. Phase II…
Spreading the Word
After implementing a solid foundation of prayer and education in the local parish, a ministry in Phase III is typically…
Expanding the Ministry’s Reach
By Phase IV the ministry is at the pinnacle of influence, operational capabilities, and visible results within its parish. The Vocation Ministry…
Ministry in Action
The last time we were in Stockton in 2019 they had no seminarians and no discerners. Today, they have 7 and a few new ones entering for the next school year!
How does a parish become vocation-producing? With expectant prayer and activities that promote vocations. In 2019, I met Lupe and her husband Angel from Sacred Heart parish in Stockton, California, at our Hundredfold workshop.
The parish had not had a vocation in many years. Lupe and Angel learned what to do at our workshop and from our book Hundredfold (Sembrando Semillas in Spanish), and after about a year of praying, their new priest Fr. Hamilton arrived at their parish, ready to get the soil fertile for vocations. Their new ministry of 6 incredible couples worked on that soil for a year, doing various activities. In 2021, Josue, from their parish entered the seminary. Praise God!