Here are a few suggestions for parishes to help promote vocations to the priesthood and religious and consecrated life. Those who often feel they might have a vocation sometimes hesitate before answering the Lord’s call. These ways provide opportunities to dialogue with those considering a vocation to priesthood or religious life, and to support them in as many ways as possible.
- Holy Hours for Vocations – begin Eucharistic Exposition for Vocations in your parish. Prayer before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is particularly fruitful for vocations. A parish rosary for vocation intentions is also very fruitful.
- Encourage Prayer for One’s Own Vocation – encourage and lead young people to pray to the Lord for discernment in their vocation. Is the Lord calling me to priesthood, religious life, married life, or the single life?
- Mass Intentions for Vocations – Offer Mass on a regular basis for the intention of increased vocations to priesthood and religious life.
- Ask – Tell promising young boys and men who show interest in truth, compassion for others, and an aptitude for the spiritual life that they would make a fine priest. Ask them to pray and consider the priesthood. Likewise, ask promising young girls and women to pray and consider religious life, and tell them they would make a fine sister or nun.
- Work with the Parish Priest – Work with the pastor at your parish on vocation awareness activities. The priest is a primary influence on young people considering priesthood and religious life. For example, the priest at confirmation interviews can ask the candidates if they’ve considered priesthood/religious life.
- Encourage Parents – Invite parents of vocation sons and daughters to give a talk at the end of Mass about the joy of being a parent of a priest, seminarian, or religious brother or sister. Parents need to here other parents speak on vocations. Speak to parents groups and parish organizations about the parents’ role in vocations.
- Host Parish Youth or Discernment Nights – Invite youth, high school students, or young adults to separate or combined discernment nights. Possible components could include prayer, socials, panel discussions from priests and religious, meet the pastor sessions, question and answer sessions, movies, trips to cathedrals or other churches, book reviews or discussion groups, etc…