Scarcity or Abundance in Vocations?

by Sister Julie Ann on April 16, 2009

‘Now is the time: to dispel the myths and misunderstandings that drive how we help people discern life as a husband, wife, priest, sister, or a faithful single person;to stop viewing religious vocations as a problem to be solved; to pray, and do more than pray, for an increase in vocations to priesthood and religious life.’

img_5470.jpgOn April 16, 2009, Dr. Kristina M. DeNeve, Office of Evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay, presented research about emerging adulthood and the factors leading to successful vocations as a spouse, religious, ordained or flourishing single. Fr. Tom Long, Diocese of Green Bay Vocation Director,  and the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity collaborated to plan the event for all interested in img_5474.jpgvocations and young adults, especially Vocation Contact Persons in parishes.

Five characteristics of Emerging Adulthood age 18-25 based on Jeffrey Jensen Arnett’s Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties were highlighted:

  • identity exploration, trying different things
  • age of possibilities, optomistic
  • age of instability
  • self-focused
  • age of feeling in-between

Positive characteristics of Millennials (emerging adults) to keep in mind when considering church vocations include:

  • They want to change the world, and they think they can do it.
  • They want to tell you what they think and they expect you to listen to them.
  • Work means more than a paycheck. They also want to make a difference.
  • As the first generation to be born into the Internet Age, they are very tech savvy and like to use it while multitasking.
  • The environment is very important to them.
  • They feel their greatest contributions can be through their knowlege-not their pocketbook.
  • They are our country’s most culturally diverse generation and want to live in diverse neighborhoods.
  • They think like extrepreneurs, but consider relationships more important than making money.

img_5478.jpgParticipants entered into group discussions, heard about the best predicators of a priestly vocation and were provided with further thoughts to consider when ‘marketing’ to the Millennials. 

How do these thoughts resonate with you?

4 thoughts on “Scarcity or Abundance in Vocations?”

  1. Callie Beth says:

    Praise Jesus! A vocation to the marriage or religious or priesthood or single life is I think at the heart of Christ. Our young men and women we must sit at the foot of Christ and ask Him where He wants us to walk.
    This is beautiful, the words of Jeffery ring home with me and I am sure many other college students at many large state secular institutions. “Say not that you are too young…”

    Our age group, for me I am 21, so young adults, like JP II said, we do want to change the world, and make a difference, but like Mother Theresa said “Be faithful in small things for in them our strength lies…”

    Let love ring in our hearts and walk towards our beloved Christ.

    Run towards Christ.

  2. Callie, thanks for your comments. To follow the call that God desires for each of us is truly an action rooted in self-less love. I’d add to your beautiful quotes one by St. Clare…

    ‘What you hold, may you always hold
    What you do, may you always do and never abandon
    But with swift pace, light step and unswerving feet, so that even your steps stir up no dust;
    believing in nothing, agreeing with nothing which would dissuade you from this resolution or which would place a stumbling block for you on the way…’

  3. Sister Sue Ann Hall says:

    I believe that once we turn to loving and caring for people with respect and without a price tag attatched; once we believe in the value of people over things; once we believe each is precious and made in God’s image and likeness; once we trust in Our Lord’s guidance, and believe Him, then we can make a difference each day of our lives even in the smallest of ways. There is much power hidden inside of us for good and we do it one person at a time, one situation at a time. The air is full God’s power we must not fear. We witness God with and without words. The time is ripe for action. Vocation is spreading the good news. “Love God and do what you will”. I see Rosecrans High School students here in Zanesville, OH show so much respect it lifts my heart, gives me hope and says, Yes Jesus is alive and well, and His work still goes on!

  4. Sister Sue Ann, you are so right; there is so much goodness in our world if we have eyes to see. Right now, Sister Mary Ann and I are very aware of abundance…we have 54 campers registered for Camp Franciscan and we don’t have another extra bed here at the Motherhouse. God is good!

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