FOR YOUTH, YOUNG ADULT & CAMPUS MINISTERS
Dear Youth Ministers:
Vocations come from the ranks of men and women who are active in their parishes. As you guide the youth and young people in your parish in their personal, social, and spiritual growth, the church relies on you to assist young people in developing the skills to discern where God might be calling them. More important, we hope that you will invite young people to consider a religious vocation, particularly during the Year of Consecrated Life. Please use the many resources VISION Vocation Network has available to help you prepare for the questions your charges may have.
In this year that calls attention . . . to consecrated life, youth pastoral ministry is called to propose to young people a path of vocational discernment, to prepare themselves to follow Jesus. —Pope Francis
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THE CHURCH NEEDS INVITERS
A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN decided to stop by a church on her way home from class. As she finished saying her prayers and was getting up to leave, an older woman approached her and said, “You would make a great sister.”
The young woman laughed and said, “Oh thank you, but I plan to get married and have lots of children that I will raise Catholic!”
Yet that parish minister’s invitation to consider religious life stuck with the young woman and she found herself reading more about religious life, talking to others, and asking God for guidance. Much to her surprise—and her family”s and friends’—she ended up contacting a vocation director and eventually decided to become a sister. She recently became a novice in her chosen community.
It seems that the axiom every salesperson lives by: “Go for the ask” applies in Christian evangelization as well. Jesus never hesitated to ask others to follow him—no matter how unlikely the potential disciple: tired and poor, young and foolish, terribly flawed, nearly perfect, doubters, persecutors, or those with complete indifference.
As you embrace your role as mentor and guide to young Catholics, please remember to “go for the ask” and put consecrated life on the radar of young adults as they explore their live choices and search for right path to be their true selves.
IDEAS FOR YOUTH GROUPS
Questions asked and answered
Pope Francis tells us that youth ministers are "called to gather the questions of young people today" and 'initiate a true and honest dialogue to bring Christ into their lives.” We encourage you and the young people to whom you minister to use the following resources available at VocationNetwork.org to help you with your questions, answers, and ongoing discussions:
Explore vocations through service
Your work as a youth or campus minister often includes service and community outreach. Visit VISION Vocation Network’s events calendar at vocationnetwork.org/opportunities for volunteer opportunities sponsored by religious communities and church organizations in your area. Find follow-up discussion questions here.
GREAT WAYS TO PROMOTE VOCATIONS IN YOUR MINISTRY
VISION Vocation Guide and the VISION Vocation Network are great resources for your ministry, particularly for encouraging youth and young adults to take time to discern their life direction and to consider options for church service.
VISION offers extensive information on Catholic thought and teaching and is a trusted evangelization tool.
VISION Vocation Guide:
For Youth Ministers:
- Please make sure to order copies of the current issue--it's free and it comes with our annual poster. Make sure to also order VISION bookmarks. Don't forget to hang the poster in a prominent place.
- Read our digital or print editions of VISION and check out any articles that interest you. Look for articles that focus on vocations, discernment, and prayer.
- Use VISION articles for discussions. Scan our article index for ideas.
For Teens/Young Adults:
- Check out our articles online or in print. Use these articles to lead group discussions. If you have an article idea please let us know.
- Use our online Vocation Match as a discernment/self assessment tool.
- After going through Vocation Match, explore at least five of the communities you matched with. Learn about their founder, their mission, and what their lives are like today.
- Take our Spirituality Quiz to find your spirituality type.
- Take our Celibacy Quiz to see how well suited you are for living the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Use the quiz as an entree into a discussion about sexuality, celibacy, and chastity.
Social networks and blogs:
- Check out our SpiritCitings blog; comment on items that are of interest to you
- Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
- Check out our YouTube channel for videos about religious life or specific religious communities
- Get involved in community service projects. Check out our opportunities calendar to see if there are any events in your area. If appropriate, consider attending with your ministry
- Contact a sister, brother, religious priest in your area and ask them to visit and talk about how they found their vocation. Most sisters, brothers, and priests have great "call" stories.
- Sign up to receive Take Five for Faith daily meditations
- First and foremost, encourage parish and community involvement among your group: altar service, lector, choir, retreats, volunteer at parish fundraisers, community outreach, scouts, justice campaigns.
- Sign up for our E-Vocation newsletter and events alerts.
- Check out any of our podcasts for music and topics you can use for discussions.
- Check out our Q&A columns: What questions do you have about Catholicism and vocations and post one
- Read our various surveys, statistics, and study findings on the VISION site. Use this information to lead discussions or talks that you may have about contemporary religious life and how your ministry can fit in.
Some additional articles for your aiding in your ministry:
- VocationMatch.com Trends on Religious Life
- Bold and Faithful: Meet Today's Religious
- VOCATION PRAYERS
- VOCATION FACT SHEET
- TAKE FIVE WIDGET
- Consecrated life through the ages (Religious Life Timeline)
- FOR PARISHES & PREACHERS: Sample homilies that encourage vocation discernment
- Infographic: Who is answering the call to religious life?
- Year of Consecrated Life | SURVEY: Among the lights and shadows: The mood of Catholics around consecrated life
- FOR BULLETIN EDITORS & DISCERNERS: Reflections on consecrated life Read More
- Find your spirituality type quiz
- FAQs: Frequently asked questions about vocations
- Celibacy quiz: Can you live a celibate life?
- Resources for older discerners or those with physical and developmental differences
- About Vocation Network and VISION Guide