By Fr. Hien Nguyen
3. Vocation Culture in the Diocesan Community
3.2 The Parish
Beside the family, the parish on a collaborative level with the Pastor needs to promote and draw an awareness of vocation to the priesthood and consecrated life. Parishioners can organize groups of young people to bring them to the Vocation Live-in or to take them on a Vocation Pilgrimage where they visit different monasteries and Orders in the Archdiocese. We can hold Vocation Nights where further discussion on the subject and prayer can be made. We raise awareness by researching and making a Bulletin Board of Vocations’ History in the Parish for the parishioners to see. Parishioners like priests can identify the youth in their community who show signs of dedication and fidelity in their service and living their faith to call them forward and above all pray for them. These are ways lay faithful are able to help promoting Vocations.
Many priests would attest that they were serving at the altar when they were young, and this also helped them to think of the vocation to the priesthood. Thus, it is also beneficial to encourage young men to serve at the parish through different positions such as acolyte, lector, server, choir, etc. Through involvement, they understand better the mission of the Church and widen their horizon toward God’s plan for them.
3.3 The Schools
We need to set priority and make Catholic identity the backbone of all the processes in our schools:
- Priest Chaplain must be in every school and directly involve in the spiritual life of the school.
- Like elementary schools, the pastors should be more involved in the daily activities of the high schools.
- As principals are hiring teachers with qualification for different subjects (math, science, social study, language, etc.) so must he employ teachers who are qualified to teach Religion in Catholic schools.
- Faith Courses and programs should be available for the teachers to partake in their training and spiritual formation.
- Teachers must assist students to prepare not for a good living through finding a good career but to prepare for a life, a vocation.
- Vocation Club should be established in the school to raise awareness and promotion among the students.