It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain. (John 15:16)
Promoting vocations is an important part of growing the Church, but it takes the work of many people to foster a culture of vocations. The duty of fostering vocations rests with the entire Christian community so that the needs of the sacred ministry in the universal Church are provided for sufficiently. This duty especially binds Christian families, educators, and, in a special way, priests, particularly pastors (Canon 233). As we begin renewing the family through the Mission Direct area of Family Ministry, we have the opportunity to engage families, educators, parish leaders, and priests in the work of promoting vocations to the priesthood, the religious life, Holy Matrimony, and the generous single state, and utilize the structures of the Family of Parishes to make vocational discernment normative in our communities.
A Framework for Promoting and Supporting Vocations in Families of Parishes
Building a Culture of Vocations in Families of Parishes is a framework that was jointly developed between the Office of Family Ministry and the Office of Priestly Vocations in the Archdiocese of Detroit. God speaks to us in different ways and often through others within the Body of Christ. This framework will provide many opportunities for vocational discussions in a variety of settings. The framework includes three tiers:
- Equip parents to guide their children in discerning vocations.
- Promote vocations through parish activities.
- Identify a priest within the Family of Parishes to serve as a visible point person for promoting priestly vocations and connecting men to the Office of Priestly Vocations.
The following resources have been compiled to support parish leaders in their vocations efforts at each level of the framework:
Parental Resources for Tier 1
- Talk sheet for parents on cultivating vocations in the home (Coming soon!)
- From the Office of Priestly Vocations: Ten ways to promote vocations in your home
- List of children's story books on vocations (Coming soon!)
- How to pray over and bless your children (Coming soon!)
- Family prayers for vocations (Coming soon!)
- Local field trip sites to expose families to vocations to the priesthood or religious life (Coming soon!)
- From the Office of Priestly Vocations: FAQ for parents of young men discerning priesthood
- From the Office of Priestly Vocations: Vocation Network - Resources available for those seeking information on Catholic religious vocations and men’s and women’s religious communities.
- Check out these lessons from 52 Sundays to celebrate Priesthood Sunday (9/25/22): English | Spanish
Parish Resources for Tier 2
- Building a Culture of Vocations in Families of Parishes Framework
- Grade-level vocations lesson plans for Faith Formation and Catholic Schools
- How to incorporate a traveling chalice/crucifix program in your parish or school | Guide for parishes (Coming soon!)
- Adopt a SHMS seminarian in your school, classroom, or parish. | Program structure for adopting a seminarian from Serra International
- Serra Promotion and Resource Kit - 28 tools and ideas for promoting vocations at a parish including:
- Called By Name - A grassroots method that engages parishioners in finding people who may be called to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life.
- Focus 11 Program - A unique vocations-related program which typically brings together 11-year-olds (5th or 6th graders) and 11th graders. As a group, these young students learn about vocations to holy orders and consecrated life.
- How to celebrate vocations through the yearly observations honoring priesthood and consecrated life
- Involving the homebound in vocations effort
- Discernment Retreats
- Altar server awards ideas
- And more! (See Serra website for more ideas)
- Sponsor a seminarian through the Knights of Columbus
- Prayer Resources
Resources for Priest Liaisons and Directors of Family Ministry for Tier 3
- Detroit Priestly Vocations Website
- Publications from Archbishop Vigneron: Forming Men of the Hearts Pastoral Note | Letter to Priests - Sharing the Gift of Being Spiritual Fathers
- Sign up to offer a Holy Mass for priestly vocations
- Template letter from priest liaison to families of 7th graders to inspire dialogue about vocations (Coming soon!)
- Template letter from priest liaison to 11th graders to inspire dialogue about vocations (Coming soon!)
- Yearly Vocations Activities Report Template for Families of Parishes (Coming soon!)
For more information about the framework or activities, please contact Nicole Joyce, Associate Director of Family Ministry, at [email protected]. Fr. Craig Giera, Director of Priestly Vocations for the Archdiocese of Detroit can be reached at [email protected].