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Leadership Training: Be Christ’s Hands and Feet on Earth

Every Vocation Ministry is distinctive. Members have different strengths, interests, and personalities, which is exactly what is needed to make up a successful ministry. Furthermore, each ministry will need to adapt to the parish it is serving, of course, but the basic elements of personnel and administrative tasks will be present in each one.

Every ministry must have the support of a pastor or priest in order to proceed with confidence and effectiveness. The ministry needs a faithful, perceptive director to lead eager members. Each ministry will hold meetings and consider budgetary options. The more these aspects of the work are streamlined and structured, the more time and energy can be devoted to the vocation activities.

“A typical monthly meeting where we meet in the more comfortable and colorful youth ministry room. Our ministry always places a statue of our Blessed Mother Mary in the middle of the group and pray and plan upcoming events. We also leave time at the end of each meeting for time to have fellowship, normally while eating some delicious snacks one of our members would bring.”

Extract from the book:
Each ministry will need to adapt to the parish it is serving, of course, but the basic elements of personnel and administrative tasks will be present in each one. Every ministry must have the supportive direction of a pastor or priest in order to proceed with confidence and effectiveness. Each needs a faithful, perceptive director to lead eager members. Each will want to hold meetings and consider budgetary options. The more these aspects of the work are streamlined and structured, the more time and energy can be devoted to the vocation activities.

The ministry is a living, breathing organism filled with people who both give and need support. The director should do everything possible to nurture members, encouraging them to get involved at a deeper level when the time is right, empowering them to take ownership of an activity or task, and then giving them credit for a job well done. This member development keeps these volunteers engaged, appreciated, and active. The most meaningful ministries will allow members to find the areas they are passionate about and that best suit their talents and gifts.

 

Administration

 

Below is an example of the annual budget for our ministry. The amounts in this spreadsheet are projected costs. Though not pictured, I normally add a column in red to show the actual costs incurred so I can adjust the budget accordingly the following year. Furthermore, not all of these costs below are incurred each year, as the ministry must decide which activities should be focused on at the beginning of each year, keeping in mind their budget, while also leaving money for those activities that are inspired by the Holy Spirit throughout the year. (see appendix A of the book for sample budgets of a small parish and large parish)

 

Budget example (Excel)

 

Perseverance

If the ministry faces adversity or resistance, especially within the church community, it is easy for the ministry to become discouraged. However, if the volunteers keep a positive attitude and continue with meaningful, uplifting activities, eventually they will win over even the sharpest critics. Perseverance and prayer will be the ministry’s closest friends throughout this vocations adventure. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the Vocation Ministry is planting seeds of holiness with every prayer drive, festival booth, or speaker at the parish.

When we do the work that God asks of us, we inevitably encounter obstacles. It is easy to become discouraged when you run into resistance, but keep smiling and moving forward with activities. You will win over even the sharpest opposition. Know that you, with the help of the Holy Spirit, are planting seeds of holiness with every prayer drive, festival booth, or speaker that you host at your parish. Rhonda Gruenewald shares some typical obstacles you will encounter and how to overcome them.

 

On-Going Formation

A Vocation Ministry can operate more efficiently if members are well educated on all aspects of vocations. Valuable resources exist in print and online. Making these available at meetings can increase effectiveness at the developmental phase, when new members are added, and when a longtime ministry is looking to re-energize its efforts. It would be beneficial to spend 10-15 minutes during each meeting discussing some aspect of vocations. For example, when planning for National Vocation Awareness Week, the ministry could discuss key aspects of each vocation or study some documents on vocations. This ongoing formation ensures each member is informed and carrying the same message to the parish.

Institute on Religious Life

Everyone — bishops, priests, religious and laity—is invited to participate in the IRL’s mission “to promote and support the consecrated life, particularly vowed religious life, as a gift to the entire Church and an evangelical witness to the world.” By becoming a member, you will receive six published issues of Religious Life magazine each year, notices of IRL national and regional meetings, information on vocation resources and programs, and sample IRL publications from time to time to help promote the mission. And you’ll be helping to support all the great IRL websites: Religiouslife.com, ReligiousBrotherhood.com, CloisteredLife.com and VocationBlog.com.

Become A Member

Council of Major Superior Women Religious

The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) is committed to the ongoing revitalization of religious life in America. Erected by the Holy See in 1992, the Council strives to bring forth the beauty of religious life in a variety of ways. The Vocations Directory and the related Women Religious App, are tangible and easily accessible resources for those discerning a vocation. Additionally, CMSWR’s film, For Love Alone, showcases the stories of women religious from the start of their discernment. These resources aim to assist those individuals who are considering a religious vocation and support the Council’s efforts to build a culture of vocational discernment. The CMSWR members represent 120 communities nationwide with approximately 6,000 sisters.

To find out more about other religious orders, you can order a free directory from the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious.

Request free information such as pamphlets about different orders

Vocations and Prayer Magazine

Each issue is geared toward the diversity of approaches and situations that Church and community leaders experience in their efforts to encourage and promote vocations.

Subscribe to Vocations and Prayer for $18 a year. Each issue is geared toward the diversity of approaches and situations that Church and community leaders experience in their efforts to encourage and promote vocations.

Each issue is geared toward the diversity of approaches and situations that Church and community leaders experience in their efforts to encourage and promote vocations.
View the online magazine here: https://www.vocationsandprayer.org/.

Get Started!

Are you ready to build a culture of vocations in your parish?

Read about the next steps in Phase I.