All seminarians need affirmation throughout their process of discernment. As a ministry, consider giving those seminarians from your parish or all diocesan seminarians a small gift when they return to the seminary at the beginning of the fall semester.
Vision Magazine: Comprehensive resource available in print and online for those seeking information on Catholic religious vocations and men's and women's religious communities; since 1987. 800-942-2811. www.vocationnetwork.org/
Vianney Vocations: Catholic company that provides professional services to vocation ministries, including brochures, videos, pamphlets, and more.877-585-1551. www.vianneyvocations.com
OYE! Magazine: Free, yearly bilingual vocation magazine that focuses on vocations for the Spanish-speaking population. 800-328-6515. www.oyemagazine.org
Litany for priests: Simple but incredibly moving litany by The Discalced Nuns of New Caney, Texas, whose mission is to promote prayer for priests.281-399-0270. 1100 Parthenon Place New Caney, TX 77357-3276
A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women: Resource to request vocation material from different religious orders that includes a brief description of each religious order and contact information. $10. 800-433-7771. www.religiousministries.com
We know there are youth at every parish discerning their vocation, but most do not have the information needed to make informed choices during this time. A Vocation Ministry can easily help by placing this information at their fingertips in the church book rack, website, or youth room.
A parish can never have enough resources to give those discerning the priesthood or consecrated life. Teen girls and young women need truth and guidance while discerning. Sister Clare Mattiass, Vocation Director for the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, has worked with hundreds of young women who felt called to religious life. In her book Discerning Religious Life gives fresh perspective and insights for today’s youth, explaining with humor and wisdom how to discern with clarity the call of Jesus to become His bride. Make sure to have copies on hand at your church to give to those seriously discerning a call to consecrated life.
Father Brett A. Brannen's book is the definitive guide for men discerning their vocation, explaining the priesthood, where they are in the discernment process, and the next step in the process. It is now the standard "catechism for discernment" throughout the country, with more than 100 U.S. dioceses ordering it in bulk. It has been translated into Spanish and reprinted in Europe and Asia. Young men affirm that this easy-to-read book answers most of their questions about discerning their vocation, and many seminarians cite its important role in their decision-making process.
Every Vocation Ministry should have copies of this book on hand to present to a young man discerning the priesthood. Furthermore, every ministry member should read the book to gain knowledge of the discernment process for these young men.
To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood is Available at Vianney Vocations in English or Spanish.
Witness to Love has been proven to be very effective in preparing couples for marriage and successfully integrating them into their parish. Newly married couples still attend Mass and are active in their parish years after their wedding day. A recent case study found that the full implementation of Witness to Love at a parish in 2012 took the divorce rate from 23% to 0% each year over the next four years.
The program offers several sessions dedicated to vocations, as well. Young Adult Ministry in a Box is an online subscription to a resource kit that will help you create and sustain a vibrant young adult ministry with minimal staff time at minimal cost with maximum results. Check it out here: https://www.youngadultministryinabox.com/
Along with asking for God's help and Our Blessed Mother's prayers, ask for the intercession of the saints who strived for holiness on earth and are now saints in heaven praying for our ministry and its activities. While many venerable and saints can be called upon for prayers for vocations, a few, in particular, are well-known intercessors for these activities.
Saint Alphonsus Marie Liguori, Patron of Vocations and Theologians
Blessed Junípero Serra, Patron of Vocations
Saint John Mary Vianney, Patron of Priests
Saint Charles Borromeo, Patron of Seminarians
St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Patron of Clergy
Purchase the following from Vianney Vocations website:
Teachers are called amidst already busy schedules to be more than knowledge transmitters. Students send out signals as they tackle academic and life issues. As a teacher, you have been gifted with the opportunity to respond to your students and to touch their lives by example, by listening, and by providing meaningful feedback.
The purpose of this Quick Reference Guide is to suggest ways that you can encourage vocations to priesthood, religious life, and other Church leadership without sacrificing time needed to complete your curriculum.
Discovery Mission uses a traditional VBS format, with half-day lessons for five days and is every bit as fun and engaging as some of the “big players” in the VBS market. It’s 100% Catholic, and is focused on teaching kids about marriage, priesthood, and religious life. Discovery Mission is not just good for kids, it’s good for the Church! Check it out here: https://www.vocationbibleschool.com/
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