I was thrilled to be back in New York, promoting vocations. The first time I spoke in New York was the first time I spoke to parishioners about Vocation Ministry! We were at Dunwoodie Seminary in Yonkers, and I was petrified. 2 ½ years later, I have spoken in over 30 other dioceses and no longer consider myself to be a new speaker.
Now, I am speaking to parishioners at Immaculate Conception Center, which is also the college seminary for Brooklyn. Bishop DiMarzio had declared a Year of Vocations in Brooklyn from September 2017-August 2018, so this was a perfect event for the diocese. Leticia is also speaking to the Hispanic community here, which is always a delight.
Only 10 days prior to the event, only 6 people had registered. Oh, my goodness! So, I only send 100 books up, thinking I did not want to haul a bunch of books back to Texas with me. When I landed, over 130 people had registered with more coming in. Wow!
If you have heard me speak, you know what I think of the need for perseverance when you do vocation work. The devil will try to thwart all good activities, especially when you are building up God’s kingdom on earth.
So, my presentation starts like any other, but about 10 minutes in, right before the perseverance talk, all my technology fails! The group cannot see the cool videos of the Ministry Fair or Junior High Program Night, I would have to show them that later. I just share my information and stories with them the best I can while seminarians, priests, and lay people are crowded around trying fix the issue. After about an hour and rebooting the entire system, the technology is back up and running. The devil did not win!
If the technology going out was not enough, Brooklyn was having a heat wave in April and so was the auditorium I was in. The heat was stuck ON, and even with the windows open, it was HOT! And I had picked to wear a sweater, pants, and boots that day as it should not have been 85 in the room! We finally had to move to another room to cool off! I felt bad for the priests in their cassocks, too!
Thankfully, the crowd was so enthusiastic that I sold out of t-shirts and books and had to take orders for more! Brooklyn is ready to start a new wave of vocations!