I just came back from the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors convention in Boston, where I met many Vocation Directors ready to bring Vocation Ministry into their diocese! Praise Him! These cheerful men are walking with young men and women all over the nation to find out God’s will in their lives! Please PRAY fervently for them each day!

    In particular, I met Sr. Anthony Mary Diago, RSM, who is the Director of the Office of Consecrated Life in Phoenix, on a bus ride in Boston. When she found out that I wrote Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry, she said, “Bishop Olmsted, my bishop, handed me that book and told me to read it and DO something with it!” What?!?! The same Bishop Olmsted, who recently wrote Into the Breach knows my book?!?! I was dumbfounded and speechless, which does not happen often! The Holy Spirit is alive and moving!

    The Big One!

    National Vocation Awareness Week

      This next month is full of opportunities to bring about a vocation-friendly environment with Priesthood Sunday on October 30 (see last month's email for ideas) and National Vocation Awareness Week on November 6-12! Vocation Awareness Week is an annual week-long celebration dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and marriage through prayer and education, and to renewing our prayers and support for those who are discerning their vocation. Even if you live outside of the US, do consider bringing awareness to vocations throughout the year!

      Remember my advice to start small, keeping in mind what the parish, ministry, and pastor are ready for. If you pick one of the ideas below to introduce vocations at your parish, school, CCE, or Youth Ministry, you will be doing great! Just do something!

      To get started, the USA Council of Serra International Vocations Committee provides a fantastic planning kit, which you can download by clicking here.

      If your ministry is in Phase II or Phase III consider doing two or three activities for this special week. Here's an example based on our ministry's plans:

      • Sunday, Nov 6: Place a bulletin insert from Vianney Vocations into each bulletin. If there are leftovers, this is perfect for the church book rack or vocation table. Pass out a prayer card for vocations or download and print this "ABCs of Fostering Vocations" page.
      • Monday, Nov 7: Parish School Religion teachers and catechists use the Serra Vocations planning kit to introduce vocations using the lesson plans and give out a Family Take-Home Page which gives ideas of what parents can do to encourage their child to ask God what He wants for their lives.
      • Tuesday, Nov 8: Assembly for 5th-8th graders: guest speaker. Could be a priest, seminarians, and/or a sister or brother. Hopefully, there is time for them to visit classrooms of schoolchildren who will be eager to meet them.
      • Wednesday, Nov 9: All School Mass, Ask an alumnus who graduated from the parish and answered God's call to become a priest, brother, or sister,to visit and tell their vocation story.
      • Thursday, Nov 10: CCE classes are given new Vocation Worksheets from Vianney Vocations to introduce vocations in a fun way to the students.
      • Friday, Nov 11: Pass out a prayer card for students at junior high youth ministry like the Marian prayer card “Do Whatever He Tells You” from Vianney Vocations.
      • Saturday, Nov 12: Give out the YOLO brochure for Teens at a High School/Young Adult Bible Study or Youth Ministry.

      “For I know well the plans I have in store for you… plans not for woe,

      plans to give you a future full of hope.”

      -Jer. 29:11

      Keep in Touch!

        Don’t forget to email me back with your stories of triumph or struggle. If you have questions, know that I am here to support you in this mission of Building a Culture of Vocations One Parish at a Time! Email me!

        As always, know that you are in my prayers. If you think of it, please pray for me, too.

        God bless you!

        Rhonda Gruenewald
        Vocation Ministry
        Cell: 281-352-4005

        St. Alphonsus Liguori, Pray For Us!

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