Possible Components in a Vocation Recruitment Plan
Repetitive Public Prayer
When the Mass readings are related to vocations (for instance, the Gospel may include Jesus’ command to pray for laborers for the harvest) or when it is the feast of an apostle or a saint who was a priest, deacon, brother, or sister, take advantage of this to promote vocations. Plan a homily, communion reflections, and hymns about God’s call, specifically the call to ordained ministry, vowed religious life or lay ecclesial vocation.
When praying general intercessions, remember to add a petition for vocations and for perseverance for priests, deacons, religious and other ecclesial ministers.
Promote prayer for vocations by sending a traveling vocation crucifix, candle, chalice, statue, etc. from family to family along with vocation prayers to pray each day. The religious symbol may be passed on each week after a particular Sunday liturgy.
Begin a special prayer campaign for vocations. You might have a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, hold a prayer service, pray the rosary, or pray the diocesan vocation prayer at Sunday Masses.
Encourage parents (grandparents) to pray that one or more of their children may become a priest, vowed religious, etc.
“Adopt a seminary” – school groups, parish groups, parishioners, and families to ‘adopt’ a seminarian to pray for.
Personal Contact or Exposure
Celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week (January), the World Day for Consecrated Life (February), and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (May). If the Archdiocese provides materials, use them, or develop your own.
Support vocation activities sponsored by your Archdiocese of religious communities in your Archdiocese. Publicize the activities to possible participants (letters, bulletin announcements, parish newsletters, announcements at the end of Mass). Pray for their success.
Hold a Vocation Fair one Sunday to give parishioners the chance to meet and talk informally with priests, religious, deacons or seminarians. Offer donuts and coffee. Enlist a group to help plan the affair, and invite the Archdiocesan Vocation Office and Vocation Directors of the various religious orders to set up displays. Involve school children and families by sponsoring a poster or essay contest, skits, or other projects.
Invite priests, religious, deacons, seminarians or religious in formation to speak about their vocations after parish Masses, at parish missions, and other appropriate occasions.
Visit a seminary with interested men (and their parents).
Visit a religious community with interested men and women (and their parents).
Identify persons in your parish who have potential vocations and ask them for approval to send their names (and addresses and phone numbers) to the Vocation Office.
Sponsor a program like “Called By Name” inviting parishioners to recommend names of potential priests, deacons or religious.
Invite a priest, deacon, seminarian, religious, or novice to speak about their vocations at various parish group meetings (Youth Groups, Young Adult Groups).
Create a vocations corner in your church. Keep it supplied with posters, prayers, information about priesthood, diaconate, religious communities, seminaries, and other material related to vocations.
Celebrate ordination anniversaries, feast days, and birthdays of priests, deacons, religious, seminarians, and people in religious formation who come from your parish.
Post photos and bios of priests, seminarians, brothers, sisters, deacons and people in religious formation who are from your parish or who work in your parish.
Regularly publish feature articles about a priest, deacon, seminarian, religious or person in religious formation in parish bulletins or newsletters.
Collaborate with Serra Clubs and Knights of Columbus in vocation awareness and support activities.
Include Vocation Office link and vocations information on parish website.
Put Vocation Office announcements in parish bulletin and newsletters.
- “Vocation Views”
- Seminary Days and Weekends
Include a vocation component in vacation bible school activities and in parish school and PSR programming.
Make sure “contact information” for vowed religious life and ordained and non-ordained ministry is included with other sacramental contact listings in your parish/monthly bulletin and newsletter.