Over the past two days, we at the vocation office had the privilege of joining with nearly 1000 people from all over the Archdiocese at PROCLAIM a conference that ultimately left us with hope and a new vision for the future of our local Church. This vision is marked by discipleship and relationship and an encouragement to recognize and put to great use the talents found in each and every one of us for the building up of God’s kingdom!
And so, now we are back in our offices, and where do we go from here? Of course, as one might expect, we go back to the plans we already had and we do them with a renewed spirit and a new purpose. Next week, there will be two chances for young men to meet and visit with Archbishop Schnurr at Andrew Dinners. On Wednesday, October 15th at St. Cecilia in Oakley (Cincinnati) and Thursday, October 16th at Holy Angels in Dayton (near UD), from 5:30-8:00pm, the Archbishop is enthusiastic about getting a chance to meet young men who have thought about or are now considering the call to the Catholic priesthood. We want to meet you, hear about your discernment journey and give you support and encouragement. This is a relaxed atmosphere and a great opportunity for any young men out there to get some additional advice on how to further his journey in following the will of God. Please contact us if you are interested in coming!
Following this week, there is an opportunity for young women at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Anderson Township to explore further the call to the consecrated life. On Friday, October 24, 2014 from 6:30-8:30 any young women in 7th grade and older is welcome to come sit down and have a meal with and hear the stories of women religious from around the Archdiocese. Just as with the men, these women will have the opportunity to explore how best to further their discernment and prepare themselves to fully accept and respond to the vocation God has placed on their hearts. If you are interested, please contact the IHM Parish Office at 513-388-4466 or Deacon Bill Mulaney at 513-753-7756.
Finally, as October comes to a close and we look around the corner into November, we begin the celebration of National Vocation Awareness Week, November 2-9! More details coming soon!
I had a wonderful time speaking with the young men from the northern part of the Archdiocese at the Andrew Dinner hosted at St. Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie. A big thank you to Fr. Shoup, pastor at St. Michael and Sts. Peter and Paul and for the parishioners who prepared the wonderful meal. Also thanks to Fr. Barry Stechschulte and Fr. Jim Riehle for coming and bringing young men to the Dinner. It was a great night, and I hope and pray that these young men will say yes to whatever vocation God calls them.
National Vocation Awareness Week, November 2-8, Calls Catholics to Greater Prayer, Awareness in How They Support Vocations
‘Culture of vocations’ driven by communities that encourage young people
September 18, 2014
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, November 2-8. This observance, sponsored by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, is a special time for parishes in the U.S. to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.
Pope Francis, in his November 2013 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, underlined the continued need to build a culture of vocations. “The fraternal life and fervor of the community can awaken in the young a desire to consecrate themselves completely to God and to preaching of the Gospel. This is particularly true if such a living community prays insistently for vocations and courageously proposes to its young people the path of special consecration,” Pope Francis wrote.
“A culture of vocations is one that provides the necessary support for others to hear and respond to God’s call in their lives,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, North Carolina, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “With God’s grace, we help build that culture through fervent prayer, the witness of our lives and the encouragement we extend to those discerning a vocation to priesthood or consecrated life.”
More and more men are discerning the call to the priesthood, and it is evident in the large number of seminarians at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. This year there are 66 seminarians at Mt. St. Mary’s and 8 more rooms are being added, so even more men can study here. We ask the Master of the harvest for more laborers for His harvest, and we thank God for His greatness and goodness. You can see the news report from channel 12 here:<http://www.local12.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/more-men-becoming-priests-large-seminary-enrollment-mt-washington-16765.shtml>
On Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 6-8pm, St. Dominic parish in Delhi will host a Martha Dinner in O’Connor Hall for all women ages 16-40 who are interested in exploring further their call to religious life. The dinner will include the opportunity to meet women from both monastic and apostolic religious orders as well as share a meal with Bishop Joseph Binzer and other young women who are attracted to this vocation. Please see the flyer for more information or contact Carol Watson at 513-347-5207 or email@example.com to reserve your spot at the table.
This fall figures to be one of the busiest in quite some time for us in the vocation office and we cannot be more excited! After seeing our largest group of seminarians in more than 30 years begin their studies this Fall, Fr. Schmitmeyer is determined to double that number in just a few more short years! He is spending every weekend preaching on vocations in a different parish around the Archdiocese from now until next June – and further into the future! On top of that, here is a run down of all that is happening to help us create a culture of vocations across the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Mark your calendars now! We look forward to seeing you soon!
September 13th – 5-9:30pm – Encounter Fall Kick-off at the Underground
This event for high school teens is a great opportunity for teens to truly come into contact with and be changed by the presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. At this event teens will hear a powerful presentation on the importance of Faith and its origin in the person of Jesus and be brought into a prayerful experience with live music, and the opportunity for reconciliation all while being led into adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Get more info about Encounter here.
September 20th – 8am-1:30pm – Northern Area Religious Education Congress
The vocation office will be there with more information about this year’s Vocation Awareness Week education materials we are making available to all parishes and schools. Stop by our table!
September 27th – 6-11pm – Celtic Benefit Concert for Run for the Call
This family-friendly, mini Celtic Festival will take place at the Meyer Center at St. Susanna Parish. It will feature music by Easter Rising with opening act, Sons of Blarney, and an Irish dance performance by the McGinn Academy of Irish Dance. The evening will benefit Run for the Call and the seminarian assistance fund they support. Cost of admission is just $10 and includes a Piggest Raffle Ever raffle ticket. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase as well.
October 1st – 5:30-8pm – Andrew Dinner at St. Michael in Ft. Loramie
The annual Fall Andrew Dinner line-up will start in the North at St. Michael in Fort Loramie. All high school aged young men who may be interested in learning more about discernment and life in the seminary are asked to contact their pastors or youth ministers.
October 6-7 – 9am-4pm – Proclaim
Along with every other ministry and parish in the Archdiocese, the Vocation Office is excited to share in this opportunity to be empowered by the message and the methods of the new evangelization.
October 15th – 5:30-8:00pm – Andrew Dinner at St. Cecilia in Cincinnati
The second in the Fall series of Andrew Dinners will happen at St. Cecilia parish in Oakley (Cincinnati). Once again we encourage all young high school men to consider attending with their pastors and learn more about discernment and have dinner with the Archbishop and new Vocation Director.
October 16th* – 5:30-8:00pm – Andrew Dinner at Holy Angels y in Dayton
Our third and final Andrew Dinner of the Fall will be at Holy Angels in Dayton. These Andrew Dinners are wonderful non-threatening opportunities for young men to dig deeper into the call they may have on their hearts and we invite them to explore that call with us.
* Please note the date change from October 22nd. Sorry for any inconvenience.
November 2-8 – National Vocation Awareness Week
This is a new time of year for this week and how fitting it is that this year, the week falls on the Feast of All Souls. While we remember the ones we lost, we also acknowledge the call that each of those and us had from the time of our baptism, to become saints in heaven by doing the will of God here on earth. This year the Vocation Office is once again providing access to vocation awareness lesson plans for all grade levels both in PSR and Catholic schools. Additionally, we are sponsoring a very exciting prayerful experience for all in the Archdiocese.
November 5 – Time TBA - Archdiocesan Holy Hour for Vocations
Like the “Light is On For You Campaign” that was held across the Archdiocese in the Spring, the Vocation Office is sponsoring a simultaneous Holy Hour that will be celebrated in parishes all across the Archdiocese on the evening of Wednesday, November 5th. Additionally, parishes in the Diocese of Toledo will be joining us at the same time and maybe even parishes across the entire state of Ohio. For one hour, we hope that the entire Archdiocese will stop and “Beg the harvest master to send more laborers for the harvest,” just as Jesus asked us to do. While the details are still in the works, mark your calendars now and plan to pray along with us.
It’s been a great first month as Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese. I put over 1600 miles on my car in the first month traveling to different parishes and events to help promote vocations to the priesthood. I especially want to thank the parishes of Holy Rosary in St. Mary’s, St Patrick in Glynwood, Our Lady of the Woods in Russel’s Point, and Our Lady of Lourdes in Cincinnati for allowing me to come and celebrate Mass with them. In the next few weeks I will be at Our Lady of Victory in Cincinnati, St. John the Baptist in Harrison, and Sts. Peter and Paul and Sacred Heart in Reading, and then I get to experience my first Encounter retreat at the Underground. Please keep me in your prayers and be open to what God is calling you to do.
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