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Why must all Catholics join in this work of vocations?

According to the most recent survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, a national, non-profit, Georgetown University-affiliated research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church, the number of parishes in the United States without a resident pastor or priest has steadily increased to 3,496. 1

Unfortunately, the statistics are not just worrisome for our priests. “Today, the total number of women religious in the United States has fallen below fifty thousand, representing a 72.5 percent decline from the peak total in 1965. There are about as many women religious in the United States now as there were a hundred years ago.”2 This statistic alone shows the dire need and a true call for action for all the faithful to get to work, promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life in their parish.

We all know that marriages are under attack in our society. Men and women from all walks of life arrive at the altar each year to pledge themselves in love to one another. For marriages to last in a happy and holy way, a solid relationship with God, selflessness, and sacrifice must be present on a daily basis. Both husband and wife must recognize that love is not just a passing feeling, but a choice to do what is best for one other. If the couple has children, they are also called to do what is best for the children—from God’s perspective. We need to affirm marriage as a vocation and lead the youth to know that discernment for marriage is vital part of the process of finding a husband or wife.

Before undertaking any new task or activity, St. Aloysius Gonzaga asked the question, “What will it be worth for Eternity?” Each priest, religious, and married person comes into contact with hundreds or even thousands of people over the course of their life. By praying for, bringing awareness to, and affirming these vocations, many other souls will be touched. The ripple effect from the work of a single Vocation Ministry could be more like a tsunami.

1.[http://cara.georgetown.edu/CARAServices/requestedchurchstats.html]
2. [http://cara.georgetown.edu/CARAServices/WomenReligious.pdf ]

 

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For a full overview and step-by-step instructions for 50+ vocation activities, buy Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry. Purchase from vianneyvocations.com

Also available in Spanish.

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Testimonials

I think this book will do so much good. I know you wrote it with much prayers and love, and it is a product of your dedicated works in the ministry of vocation. You have blessed our vocation office and the vocation ministry at St Cecilia and here in the Archdiocese abundantly! May the Lord bless you and He abundant fruit to your work!

Fr. Dat Hoang, Former Vocation Director for Archdiocese of Galveston Houston

Vocations to the Priesthood and religious life can only evolve in a culture which nurtures a positive response to God’s calling whether that be in the home, school or church. Without a doubt, a robust parish vocation mission is the perfect means of cultivating such an environment in all three places. Rhonda Gruenewald has developed a full proof method of creating and sustaining a bountiful vocation mission in every parish. Her work is truly the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Margo P. Geddie, Vice President for Communications for Serra US 

This book will be a useful tool for parishes in our Archdiocese and beyond. We frequently have pastors and parishioners who ask for help to initiate or revitalize their parish vocation committees. Having a manual coming from a parish’s practical experiences and with electronic forms available on the website will enable us to respond to their needs. We look forward to having it as a resource as we continue to build a culture of vocations for the sake of our Church and society.

Sr. Anita Brenek, CDP, Associate Director, Office of Vocations Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

To have all of these activities in one well thought out piece with such prayerful consideration and documented practice is a lovely example of Divine inspiration paired with the willingness of servant's hearts in answering His call. This is a beautiful example of what can be done with the collaboration of gifts bestowed to us while listening to the call of our Lord. It will become a gift to many in seeking a clear path to promoting vocations. "Well done, my good and faithful servant" Matthew 25:21. It is a masterpiece!

Anne Shepherd-Knapp, Chairman, Serra US Vocation Committee Deputy Governor, District 10 President, The Serra Club of Spring-1960 Area

The workshop provided practical steps to address a pressing need in our diocese. The wide gamut of possibilities allows large and small parishes to DO something. Rhonda is good at responding to questions and has lots of practical experience, both positive and negative.

Very Reverend Jay Peterson, Vicar General Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

The most beneficial aspects of the workshop are the book, the website and downloadable materials, and the practical nature of “how to”. You were also encouraging in the many ways pastors/priests are trying to encourage vocations.

Monsignor Mark Merdian, Diocese of Peoria, Illinois  

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