Choose Your Language

The main mission of any Vocation Ministry should be to help all parishioners discern God’s will in their lives regardless of the vocation—to call all people to holiness. If a ministry focuses on this goal, over time vocations will increase, including more seminarians, religious men and women in formation, and holier marriages.

Some ministries center their attention only on how many individuals from their parishes choose to become priests, monks, brothers, sisters, or nuns, but ultimately God calls those he chooses for this holy work. The work of the Vocation Ministry is to pray and to develop uplifting, encouraging, educational activities that create a fertile environment so that God can plant the seed and the Holy Spirit can water that seed in the hearts of individuals.

The Philosophy

The expectation is that each ministry will start small and simple, and then grow in size and depth. Each ministry must prayerfully and logically assess its interest in and ability to tackle a particular event. For example, a Vocation Ministry that has three members and no budget will be limited to certain activities until the Holy Spirit provides more volunteers and resources. Another parish may have ample financial and human resources but still be a fledgling ministry; it, too, will have to be careful about which activities parishioners are ready to receive.

Perhaps the most influential factor, after prayer, in a ministry’s success is choosing which activities to initiate, and when. Each diocese, parish, and ministry will differ in size, age, maturity, inclination, interests, budget, and support.

The importance of the concept of doing this work in phases cannot be overstated. Understanding and accepting the ministry’s developmental stage is absolutely critical to the success of the program. Similar to a weekend athlete overextending himself and suffering an injury, a Vocation Ministry risks biting off more than it can chew. The result could be a setback with farreaching implications. Pay prayerful and careful consideration to the section on phases, and use the first-hand advice on how to choose the most appropriate activities at the most appropriate times in the ministry’s life.

The activities fall within four major categories: Prayer, Education/Awareness, Youth, and Affirmation. Prayer for vocations is first and foremost, and it will transform a parish in God’s time. Raising awareness and knowledge of vocations in both cradle Catholics and converts strengthens the ministry and broadens its reach. Certain activities specifically target youth, both in religious education classes within the parish and at the parish schools. Finally, time spent affirming those who have given their lives to the priesthood, religious, or married life shows appreciation and lifts their spirits. It also draws attention to their service and their joy in serving, which can inspire others to follow their worthy path.

The success of a Vocation Ministry should be measured over years, not months, so leaders and participants are encouraged not to rush to take on too much at once—and not to get frustrated with early roadblocks or with what feels like slow progress. Progress and transformation happen in God’s time; all the Vocation Ministry can do is focus on prayer and on educational, affirming, and inspirational activities, allowing God to bring the harvest.

 

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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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