Phase I: Laying The Groundwork
Not ready for Phase I yet? View Pre-Launch.
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. They are the foundation upon which all other activities are laid. For that reason, ministries in every stage of development are strongly encouraged to include some of them in their annual plan.
Phase I Activity Resources
The work of promoting vocations at a parish will often revolve around the days that we usually promote vocations. Don’t worry if you cannot execute an activity on the exact day. Most parishioners have no idea that these days exist, so they will not know if you have to hold an event the week after its official date. Also, don’t forget my message of starting small. You may decide to make announcements and post a blurb in the bulletin only for some of these dates. Pick the ones that your ministry and parish are ready for and the ones you feel will be most impactful. Just do something!
Calendar of Events
World Day for Consecrated Life – February 2 / Feast of the Presentation of our Lord
Consecrated life is a blessed gift given by Jesus Christ, who chooses a person to answer his great call of love in a distinct and special way. He requests that person leave behind features of the world such as marriage and wealth to serve their brothers and sisters. Consecrated life is a vocation, like marriage and priesthood, where men and women seek an intimate relationship with Christ. They are witnesses to the world that we are all ultimately called to unite with Christ. Bringing awareness to and praying for those consecrated to Christ is a fundamental goal of the ministry.
We celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life today. Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, especially our own parishioners __________ and __________. Be sure to thank them on this special day. May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God’s gift of their vocation.
Consider one of these activities at your parish for this event to celebrate the men and women who have said yes to serving Christ with their lives:
- Ask the parish liturgy coordinator to place a prayer petition for consecrated men and women in the Prayers of the Faithful.
- Take up a gift card collection, and send them with a card to those consecrated men and women from your own parish. If you don’t have any, send them to a nearby convent or monastery.
- Display the Banner (download below)
- Obtain posters of the consecrated in formation from the Office of Vocations, to place at each parish entrance. If they don’t produce them, consider displaying one of these posters.
- Ask consecrated men or women, which includes religious sisters and brothers, to speak after Mass, at reception, at a school assembly, and/or at youth ministry event.
- If you don’t have any consecrated men or women in your area who can visit, consider playing one of the many Vocation Videos in Phase II, that show consecrated life in a beautiful, inspiring and instructive way.
- Ask parishioners to pray for each of the consecrated men and women.
- If your parish VM is operating in Phase III or IV, consider running Called By Name.
World Marriage Day- 2nd Sunday in February
This special day to salute the beauty of marriage started in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1981, and 2 years later 43 Governors officially proclaimed the day and festivities spread throughout the United States. World Marriage Day is designated to be celebrated on the second Sunday of February and continues to grow and extend to more countries every year.
The permanent theme for World Marriage Day is “Love One Another” from the commandment given us by Jesus in John 14. This gospel gives us a simple but challenging message of how our Heavenly Father wishes us to live. Loving one another is a daily decision – simple, but challenging.
World Marriage Day can be celebrated in various ways, but most importantly it is done by uplifting those who have said YES to one another in the sacrament of marriage.
For those in Phase I, insert the blurb below for your bulletin, make announcements at Masses, give out marriage prayer cards, or recognize the couple married longest at Masses.
This weekend we celebrate World Marriage Day! Let’s take time to pray for our spouses and each other to lift our marriages. Do something special for each other this weekend to show your gratitude for your spouse and their YES! Your goal in this Vocation of Marriage should be to get your spouse to heaven. Take time to ponder in your heart how you can do that, starting right now. God bless you!
This weekend we celebrate World Marriage Day! Please pray for the married couples and those in marriage preparation from our parish. Prayer cards will be available at the church entrance. God bless all men and women who said YES to the vocation of marriage!
If you are in Phase II-IV, you could hold a renewal of vows, organize prayer for those in marriage prep as a parish, hold a reception for married couples after Masses, or consider recommending, which is a couple’s ministry, at your parish. At a youth ministry event, all the adults working with the teens who are married could speak for a moment about the joys of marriage, or few married couples could speak at a celebration like a reception or dance after a renewal of vows. Another way to affirm those who are married occurs during Mass. The priest or deacon asks all married couples to stand up, and then he asks those married 5 years or less to sit down, 10 years, working his way up to the couple married the longest. Everyone gives them a round of applause and possibly a bouquet of flowers.
Remember: Marriages striving for holiness = Growing, thriving Church and holy vocations.
For more information, including blessings, intercessions, prayer service, and more ideas. visit:
- The OTHER Vocation: Homily for World Marriage Day
- In conjunction with the start of National Marriage Week USA, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched a new mobile responsive website! ForYourMarriage.org offers numerous resources on the meaning and beauty of marriage in God’s plan and provides support to couples at every stage of their journey. Check it out by visiting: www.ForYourMarriage.org
- Catholic Family & Marriage, Inc. is a ministry dedicated to empowering, encouraging, and equipping families and marriages. They have blogs, free bulletin inserts and more at catholicfam.org
World Day of Prayer for Vocations – Parish – 4th Sunday in Easter
Established in 1964 Pope Paul VI designated Good Shepherd Sunday to be World Day of Prayer for Vocations which is the day each year that all Catholics are asked to pray to God that he send more workers into the harvest. At the parish level, this is a perfect opportunity to bring together parishioners, young and old, to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, especially before the Blessed Sacrament. This event can take many forms from a day of adoration for vocations in the chapel or a Holy Hour in the church with a reception afterward. Advertise this day in all ways no matter if an activity is planned for this event or not as bringing awareness to the fact that we all are charged with praying for vocations is crucial.
Today the Church throughout the world prays for vocations. Will you make a special effort to ask the Lord for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life?
- Pray for the priests who have ministered to you throughout your life, both living and dead.
- Keep our parish priests in your prayers throughout the week.
- Encourage your children, grandchildren, or other young people to consider a vocation as a priest or religious brother or sister.
- Pray a rosary for more young men and women in our diocese to respond to God’s call.
Prayers of the Faithful
On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, we pray that God will supply holy shepherds for the Church. Let us pray to the Lord.
- That the example of religious sisters and brothers will show forth the Church as the sacrament of salvation for the world. Let us pray to the Lord.
- For all Catholics struggling to discern their vocations, that the Holy Spirit give them wisdom and peace. Let us pray to the Lord.
- That God will call men from our own parish to become priests. Let us pray to the Lord.
- For those in our parish called to profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Let us pray to the Lord.
- That teachers and youth ministers will encourage children and teens to respond to God’s call. Let us pray to the Lord.
- That parents will encourage their children to consider the priesthood or consecrated life. Let us pray to the Lord.
- For the deceased clergy and religious who have served our parish, that the Good Shepherd will welcome them with open arms. Let us pray to the Lord
If you are a new ministry, try some simple ideas to promote prayer for vocations on this day. You could invite parishioners to pray a before or after each Mass on May 6-7. You could use the Vocation Prayer below (or one you are using already) as an easy way to promote prayer at your parish: put it in the bulletin, blow it up and put it on a display board or easel at the entrance to church, or download it in English and in Spanish on this website, and hand them out to say after Mass. Simple does NOT mean it isn’t impactful!
If you are part of an established ministry in Phase II-IV, consider reaching out to other areas of the parish, too. Give the teachers, catechist, and/or religion teacher at the parish or parish school some of the new tools for the classroom, which you will find under Phase I HERE. There are so many options for what can be done, encourage the youth to pray in any way possible, whether that is in youth group, choir practice, or Boy Scouts. My favorite prayer card for the youth is Do Whatever He Tells You, which you will also find under Classroom Materials. There are many options for what you can do. Stretch your ministry as you are growing. A ministry with a mission will be on fire for Jesus and Vocations!
https://www.worlddayofprayerforvocations.com/ – This website has many resources from Vianney Vocations for this special day!
Check out these amazing bulletin inserts and prayer card:
Religious Brothers Day -May 1/ Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker
Bring awareness to religious brothers in the parish and diocese.
Make an announcement at Mass; Put picture and info of brothers from your parish/diocese in bulletin or poster at the entrance of the church; Send a care package of practical items to a monastery in your diocese or nearby diocese.
World Priest Day – Celebrated on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
World Priest Day (AKA World Day for the Sanctification of Priests) is all about praying for your priest and his sanctification! You can hold a prayer drive, a Holy Hour in honor of your priest, or pass out prayer cards. Every day our priests pray for us and our intentions as they preside over Mass, hear confessions, baptize our children, or bury our loved ones. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will come down upon him and light his heart anew for the priesthood.
What if you emailed each major organization in your parish, asking them to pray in a special way for your pastor on this day using the spiritual bouquets below? What if you organized a time for parishioners to pray a rosary for priests? You can print out a Rosary for Priests here.
You can also purchase this Rosary for Vocations brochure from Vianney Vocations.
It contains meditations on the vocation to holiness we all share, on marriage, the diaconate, religious life, and the priesthood.
Don’t forget to tell your priest you are praying for him. You never know what he is going through, sacrificing out of love for his parishioners.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, protect our priests in the midst of their work at the parish. Comfort him in his afflictions. Give him health of body, assistance in his temporal needs, and your blessing on all that he does. Amen!
Purchase St. John Vianney greeting card for Priests from Vianney Vocations at https://www.vianneyvocations.com/product/greeting-card-for-priests/
Priesthood Sunday – Last Sunday in September
Each fall the Vocation Ministry has the perfect opportunity to guide parishioners in showing their priests appreciation and love. This can take a variety of forms from a note or prayer to a more complicated reception for all parishioners. No matter the form, assuring the priests of the loving care and gratitude of the parish will stay with him long after Priesthood Sunday is over.
Bulletin Blurbs – Example
Please join the Vocation Ministry today Priesthood Sunday in praying for our priests, praising God for their courage and their generosity. Also, please take a moment after Mass to go to the adoration chapel and fill out a , which is an offering of prayer for one or both of our priests. Let us show Fr. A and Fr. B our encouragement and gratitude in thoughts and deeds. God bless our priests!
Announcement before or after Mass – Example
Please join me on this special day Priesthood Sunday in praying for our priests, in praising God for their courage and their generosity. Along with prayer, the Vocation Ministry invites you to take a moment after Mass to write a note of appreciation to one or all our priests. Let Fr. J, Fr. C, and Fr. V know something they have done that has impacted you personally to assure him of your loving care and gratitude for his presence in the life of our church community. God bless our priests!
Here are some ideas on what your ministry and parish can do for this celebratory day:
- Encourage parishioners to pray for your priest. There are hundreds of ways to do this, but here is a prayer card specifically designed for this day.
- Coordinate a parish pot luck dinner to celebrate “Father’s Day”
- Coordinate a coffee cake reception following Masses
- Offer an essay, poster, or poetry contest on this or similar topic: “Why Fr. _____ is so amazing!”
- Include the Priesthood Sunday banner in front of church
- Include a biography of your priest in the bulletin
- Have everyone sign a BIG card for your priest. Your parish may be so large that each Mass has its own BIG card. Great! Then display them at the donut and coffee reception on that Sunday.
- Build him up and let him feel the gratitude and love from your parishioners.
- I LOVE this idea from the Diocese of Peterborough, Ontario, CA! Gather a picture of when your priest(s) was younger and share with your parishioners in the bulletin, church email newsletter, or on a poster.
- Ask your priest ahead of time to fill out the Get to Know Your Priest Questionnaire to know what he would like best. Share his answers in bulletin blurbs leading up to this day or share them all at once on a science fair board on Priesthood Sunday.
Priesthood Sunday Prayer Cards
Available for purchase at https://www.vianneyvocations.com/product-tag/priesthood-sunday/
National Vocation Awareness Week- – First Full Week of November
National Vocation Awareness Week is an annual week-long celebration dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and marriage through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are discerning their vocation. Even if you live outside of the US, do consider bringing awareness to vocations throughout the year! You can find great ideas and resources for the week at vocationawarenessweek.com which is updated each year a 2-3 months before the event.
Remember my advice to start small, keeping in mind what the parish, ministry, and pastor are ready for. If you pick one of the ideas below to introduce vocations at your parish, school, CCE, or Youth Ministry, you will be doing great! Just do something!
Blurb for bulletin
Did you know that in our country, compared to 50 years ago, there are 20,000 fewer priests and 130,000 fewer religious sisters? At the same time, the Catholic population has continued to grow steadily. Many factors have contributed to the decline: growing secularism, a lengthened period of adolescence, attitudes about celibacy, etc. During Vocation Awareness week, please pray that young people today will hear and respond to God’s call. And do your part to encourage them to consider the priesthood and religious life.
Prayers of the Faithful
- During National Vocation Awareness Week, we pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. We pray to the Lord.
- For Catholic educators, that they will inspire students to remain open to God’s call for their lives. We pray to the Lord.
- That young men from our parish will respond to the Church’s tremendous need for priests. We pray to the Lord.
- That young women from our parish will remain open to consecrating themselves to God as religious sisters. We pray to the Lord.
- That Christian parents, as they live their own vocations to marriage, will encourage their children to consider becoming priests, brothers, or sisters. We pray to the Lord.
- That seminarians receive the graces they need to become holy priests who speak the truth with love. We pray to the Lord.
- For all priests and religious men and women who have served our parish, both living and dead. We pray to the Lord.
SAMPLE WEEK OF ACTIVITIES for a Vocation Ministry
Sunday: Place a bulletin insert from Vianney Vocations into each bulletin. If there are leftovers, this is perfect for the church book rack or vocation table. Pass out a prayer card for vocations or download and print this “ABCs of Fostering Vocations” page.
Monday: Parish School Religion teachers and catechists introduce vocations to their students, using the Quick Reference Vocation Guide. Pass out a prayer card to each student – Marian prayer card “Do Whatever He Tells You”from Vianney Vocations.
Tuesday: Assembly for 5th-8th graders: guest speaker. Could be a priest, seminarians, and/or a sister or brother. Hopefully, there is time for them to visit classrooms of schoolchildren who will be eager to meet them.
Wednesday: At the all-school Mass, ask an alumnus who graduated from the parish and answered God’s call to become a priest, brother, or sister to visit and tell their vocation story.
Thursday: CCE classes are given new Vocation Worksheets from Vianney Vocations to introduce vocations in a fun way to the students. Teachers could also use Stories of Service or grade-level lesson plans from the USCCB website
Friday: Pass out this prayer card for students at junior high youth ministry from Prayer to Know My Vocation
Saturday: Give out this prayer card: Prayer to Know My Vocation at a High School/Young Adult Bible Study or Youth Ministry.
“For I know well the plans I have in store for you… plans not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope.”-Jer. 29:
Other Ideas for promotion
- Make an announcement at Masses about activities
- Order/Print out Church Book Rack Materials
- Free copies of Vision Magazine at vocationnetwork.org
- Ask a priest to speak about vocations at Masses
- Ask a priest or sister to
- Give out at Masses/Youth group/religious classes
- Invite married couples to speak to youth group
- Ask priest to bless married couples at Mass
- Suggest to teachers to and show vocation videos to kids
Order resources from www.vocationawarenessweek.com
Use these cute name tags for any activity during the week: VBS Name Tags
World Day of Cloistered Life– November 21 (The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
On this day the Church celebrates World Day of Cloistered Life, an ecclesial event for all Catholics to commemorate the hidden lives of cloistered and monastic religious. Ways to honor the event include prayer (participating in a novena, offering up Masses, etc.), encouragement (writing letters to contemplative communities, visiting them, calling to thank them, etc.), and material support (monetary donations).
A few years ago at a general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reminded the Church, “Let us give thanks to the Lord for the powerful testimony of cloistered life.” He also urged the faithful to lend their spiritual and material support to these brothers and sisters of ours “so that they can carry out their important mission.”
Special promotion of this annual celebration is being coordinated in the United States by the Institute on Religious Life.
Bulletin insert for the weekend before World Day of Cloistered Life:
This November 21 (the Memorial of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple), the Church celebrates World Day of Cloistered Life, an ecclesial event for all Catholics to commemorate the hidden lives of cloistered and monastic religious. Ways to honor the event include prayer (participating in a novena, offering up Masses, etc.), encouragement (writing letters to contemplative communities, visiting them, calling to thank them, etc.), and material support (monetary donations).
For more information visit CloisteredLife.com.
As a new or established vocations ministry, the first action of any meeting or activity should be prayer. Before ministering to a parish, the ministry first must be consecrated to Jesus through our Blessed Mother, the model and mother of all vocations. Each ministry should ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede on behalf of the ministry and its activities to ensure they are covered in prayer.
Along with asking for God’s help and Our Blessed Mother’s prayers, ask for the intercession of the saints who strived for holiness on earth and are now saints in heaven praying for our ministry and its activities. While many venerable and saints can be called upon for prayers for vocations, a few, in particular, are well-known intercessors for these activities.
- Saint Alphonsus Marie Liguori, Patron of Vocations and Theologians
- Blessed Junípero Serra, Patron of Vocations
- Saint John Mary Vianney, Patron of Priests
- Saint Charles Borromeo, Patron of Seminarians
- St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Patron of Clergy
- Saint Monica, Patron of Married Women
- St. Scholastica, Patron of Nuns
Invisible Monastery is a worldwide community of people committed to praying for vocations. Our goal is to attract enough members to pray for vocations 24 hours a day in every diocese.
Members of Invisible Monastery:
- Pledge to pray daily or weekly for vocations
- Choose their type of prayer—Mass intention, rosary, private prayer, etc.
- Renew their pledge annually
- Receive a quarterly e-newsletter with prayers, resources, and ideas for promoting vocations
- May receive occasional communication from the diocesan Vocation Director with prayer requests or other information.
Let us lift in prayer those who have said YES to the vocation of marriage! Check out http://togetherforlifeonline.com/prayers/ for some of the best prayer resources for married and engaged couples. A ministry can easily place a prayer in the bulletin or on a poster board at the entrance to church.
Through prayer we can strengthen, heal, and protect our marriages as Husbands and Wives.
The Por tu Matrimonio website is a space to inspire, assist and encourage Spanish-speaking couples to live their marriage more fully.
Almighty and eternal God,
You blessed the union of married couples
so that they might reflect the union of Christ
with his Church:
look with kindness on them.
Renew their marriage covenant,
increase your love in them,
and strengthen their bond of peace
so that, with their children,
they may always rejoice in the gift of
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Mary Undoer of Knots Marriage Prayer Card
Pack of 50
The Catholic Company: The theology of Mary untying knots goes back to the second century and was understood as Mary untying the knot of sin and disobedience created by Eve. These prayer cards are perfect for teaching and sharing the treasures of our faith. Features a beautiful marriage prayer. Purchase from http://www.catholiccompany.com/
Prayer For Married Couples
Package of 100: $12.00
USCCB: The Marriage Prayer Card focuses on the covenant of marriage and the bond that is created from the union. It serves to strengthen the bond and encourage peace and love within the entire family.
Celebrate the institution of marriage, what the union means, and how coming together and working together promotes unity, strength, stability and helps sustain relationships.
Leave copies in the Church vestibule, great for pre-nuptial and general marriage counseling, for bookstores, for newlyweds and established married couples, for a variety of ages and for any number of years of marriage. Purchase from http://store.usccb.org/
Saints Louis & Zelie Martin Canonization Holy Card
Sts. Louis and Zélie are an example of how the vocation of marriage can be lived out with grace and holiness. This couple is best known as the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower), but they are models of holiness in their own right. They are only the second married couple to be canonized.
The home that Louis and Zélie created nurtured the sanctity of all their children, but especially their youngest, who is known to us as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Louis and Zélie were beatified in 2008, and canonized by Pope Francis on October 18, 2015. The Liturgical Feast of Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guerin is July 12.
Prayer is powerful. A prayer drive gives parishioners an opportunity to pray for priests of the parish, and it lifts and bolsters the priest who is the beneficiary of the prayers. Actively encouraging parishioners to pray routinely for vocations, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, brings awareness to the idea of praying for our shepherds.
Blessing Over Married Couples
Christopher West says that “Marriage is a living sign that truly communicates the love of Christ and the Church.” That sign should shine brightly, especially to the youth at the parish. With each couple, standing up during Mass to receive a blessing, they receive graces from the blessing, and the youth see marriage in a positive light. While a perfect activity to do on World Marriage Day (2nd Sunday of February), this can be done any time with equal effect.
This vocation prayer comes from the dioceses of Sioux Falls and Rapid City. The first is the original, the second is adapted for parents and grandparents.
Prayer cards available for purchase from religiouslifecatalog.com and vocationsandprayer.org:
Way of the Cross for Vocations:
A collection of amazing prayers for seminarians, priests, and vocations in general:
AWARENESS AND EDUCATION
- Vision Magazine: Comprehensive resource available in print and online for those seeking information on Catholic religious vocations and men’s and women’s religious communities; since 1987. 800-942-2811. www.vocationnetwork.org/
- ABCs of Fostering Vocations: Parental guide on how to foster vocations within the home from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/parents/abcs-of-fostering-vocations.cfm
- Litany for priests: Simple but incredibly moving litany by The Discalced Nuns of New Caney, Texas, whose mission is to promote prayer for priests.281-399-0270. 1100 Parthenon Place New Caney, TX 77357-3276
- A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women: Resource to request vocation material from different religious orders that includes a brief description of each religious order and contact information. $10. 800-433-7771. www.religiousministries.com
- Vianney Vocations: Your parish can buy a Starter Pack with books, booklets, posters, brochures, and prayer cards used by more than 100 different dioceses AND save $$$! A total of 265 pieces, great for stocking the parish book rack. It also includes materials to give to youth, as well as the best books about promoting vocations in the parish. They offer options for Basic, Bilingual, Large Parish, and Premium package!
Give away these promotional items at your festival table or Vocations Fish Fry, Pancake Breakfast or any gathering of parishioners. The t-shirts, magnets, buttons, and/or bumper stickers are a great way to garner support for your priest on Priesthood Sunday. The Cutouts of the Sister/Priest/Religious Priest or Brother are a kid magnet at any gathering.
We know there are youth at every parish discerning their vocation, but most do not have the information needed to make informed choices during this time. A Vocation Ministry can easily help by placing this information at their fingertips in the church book rack, website, or youth room.
Marriage Awareness at Mass
Love at first sight is easy to understand; it’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle. -Sam Levenson
Let’s find those couples who have been looking at each other for a lifetime so that all of us can witness that miracle. One easy way to do this is for the priest or deacon at Mass to ask all married couples to stand up, and then he asks those married 5 years or less to sit down. He will add more decades, working his way up to the couple married the longest. Everyone gives them a round of applause and possibly a bouquet of flowers. Equally important is that all the young married couples and children witness the whole congregation supporting this couple and the vocation of marriage.
For Your Marriage www.foryourmarriage.org and Por tu Matrimonio website www.portumatrimonio.org are sites to inspire, assist and encourage couples in English or Spanish to live their marriage more fully. It includes content for dating and engaged couples and family life and parenting, too.
Almost 80% of college students stop practicing their faith at some point during college with only 15% actually seeking a college campus ministry on their own. So, the Newman Connection, named after Blessed John Henry Newman, a giant in the field of theology, philosophy, and education, saw a need to bring the college students and campus ministers together in a practical way. With the help of parish youth ministers around the United States, the campus minister will contact the student about the activities of the campus ministry before the student even arrives on campus.
Vocation Ministries in every parish have a clear and simple motivation for keeping our older teens and young adults practicing their faith. The more they are going to church and participating in college campus ministry, the more they are open to hearing God’s call. According to a recent survey, almost 20% of respondents said they first considered a vocation to the religious life between ages 19-24. Each ministry should reach out to their youth ministers to do their part to keep our young adults practicing their Catholic faith.
Link for more information and to enter in college destination and student contact information:
Free Vocation Curriculum
The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles have produced a top-quality vocation curriculum for K-12th grade, and it is totally FREE! Introductory Video for the Curriculum
Franciscan University’s Vocations Outreach Program has a variety of assignments for different age levels to use in their classrooms or for homeschooling.
The USCCB has designed Lesson plans, specifically for National Vocation Awareness Week, but it can be used at any time.
Quick Reference Vocation Guide
Teachers are called amidst already busy schedules to be more than knowledge transmitters. Students send out signals as they tackle academic and life issues. As a teacher, you have been gifted with the opportunity to respond to your students and to touch their lives by example, by listening, and by providing meaningful feedback.
The purpose of this Quick Reference Guide is to suggest ways that you can encourage vocations to priesthood, religious life, and other Church leadership without sacrificing time needed to complete your curriculum.
Stories of Service
To lead 4-8th graders in a discussion about God’s call in their lives, have them read 1 Samuel 3: 1-10 and then the story of the Annunciation and then fill out the worksheet. You could have a large group discussion for the younger kids, but the older kids may benefit from a small group discussion of their answers for some or all of the worksheet.
Consider buying a poster for each classroom in your parish, whether that is a school classroom, religious education classroom, or meeting spaces. Another great place to put these posters is above the water fountain because every child will see it. Inspire and educate the kids in any way possible!
Vocations Worksheet for Kids
Vocations Worksheet for Kids at various grade levels. See all the options here
Prayer Card for Children
A simple rhyming prayer to know my vocation. Perfect for Catholic schools or religious education classes in English or Spanish. (50 for $8) from Vianney Vocations
2″ x 8″ Bookmark for Classroom Consecration
Includes prayer for vocations on the front and Memorare on the back.
(50 for $5 available at vianneyvocations.com)
Move from Education to Formation with Vocation Lessons, a new curriculum that inspires Catholic students to appreciate each vocation and become open to God’s call. The lessons that are geared toward each grade from K-12 can be accessed online or in print.
- Christian marriage, priesthood, and religious life formation.
- Compelling lesson plans ‘teach teachers’ about vocations.
- A Family Feature spurring conversation about God’s call among parents and children.
- Creative skits, role-playing, debate, and student materials.
Cards and Gifts for Priests
One of the goals of a Vocation Ministry is to lift-up the parish priests with affirmation in the form of physical cards and/or gifts. Priests are inundated each day with difficult aspects of their ministry. So often they hear from parishioners who have burdens to share. A simple gesture of kindness and gratitude can make a significant impact on the priest, especially one without family nearby. The ministry can also encourage all parishioners to remember their priests as they do a member of their own family, with love, kindness, and generosity. His favorite candy and gift cards can be found through the next activity Get to Know Your Priest.
- Greeting card – You can find a wide variety of cards at: The Printery House
- Restaurant gift card
- Favorite candy
- Bookstore gift card
- Dear Father: A Message of Love for Priests by Catherine De Hueck Doherty. Buy it here at Amazon.com
- In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart — The Journal of a Priest at Prayer. Buy it here at Amazon.com
- Theater gift card
- Thank You Card for Priests – When you want to say thank you to the special priests in your life, order this pack of 5 cards that are perfect for ordination or a simple thank you.
- Framed Art – The perfect gift for the newly ordained, a priest as they celebrate their ordination anniversary, or any priest for that matter! $20.00 framed. 5×7 – Two colors available, gold embossed. Purchase framed art
Get to Know Your Priest Questionnaire
Whether a priest has been at the parish one, 10, or 20 years, most parishioners will not be able to say they know him well. Some only really get to know a priest at his going-away reception. To help with this problem, consider asking him a variety of questions that will help all those he serves to know him better. His answers can reveal his preferences in sweets, movies, hobbies, and books for presents later, too. Consider sharing his answers in a special way at his next reception for a special birthday, ordination anniversary, or anniversary at the parish.
- Who taught you your faith?
- Who is your favorite saint(s)?
- What attracted you to the priesthood?
- When is your ordination anniversary?
- When is your anniversary with our parish?
- What is your favorite church hymn?
- What is your favorite hobby?
- What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?