I just got home from a speaking engagement. Well, I spoke. To a few people. In an office. In a church.
So, maybe it wasn't a speaking engagement in front of hundreds of people, but it was in front of 5 people. :) Nevertheless, it was an important thing we were discussing.
You see, for the past two years (on and off for me), there is a group that has been meeting with the dream of forming a Serra Club, a group that meets, prays, and generally finds ways to support those who are considering a vocation, or who are already in formation. We are finally to the point of having enough members that we can have our own Club! With that, we have officers and offices. Yours truly, along with Beth Dammeyer (who is a peach and a half), are the membership chairs. I would have to admit that Beth is the brains behind the operation. I am the mouth. (Go figure!)
We were invited to speak tonight to the Vocations Committee at St. Michael's and St. Peter & Paul Churches in Fort Loramie and Newport, respectively. I thought this was probably a great group to start with, since they were so small! We had a great discussion about raising awareness of vocations in our parishes.
I've always been drawn to vocations awareness. Perhaps it's because of my upbringing -- I have an uncle that is a priest, an aunt who is a nun, and a cousin that is a priest. I've ALWAYS been around religious. And their job is vital to our church, both on the local level and on the Church level! I have been reflecting on our substitute priests we have come in to our church when our priest is not able to say mass -- they usually come from St. Charles, and are usually in the vicinity of 80-90 years old! And what an inconvenience when one of them can't come, or forgets, and all we can have is a communion service?
At the rate we have young men entering the seminary, we will have bigger problems in the years to come if we don't increase vocations. The beautiful part of what I'm seeing now, is the products that the seminary is turning out -- wonderful, caring priests who are awesome at their jobs! Now, we need more of them!
I'm convinced that vocations, like anything else in the church, can be increased by asking. Some will come forward on their own, but others need to be asked. Or encouraged. I try to encourage all the time. I have a few people in my mind right now that I think could be hearing the call, but may need a gentle nudge. Is it you? Maybe :)
So, pray for our Serra Club, that it may move forward and do great things. Also, pray for vocations as a whole -- that we will be blessed with many young men and women who want to give their lives to God.
And if it happens to be one of my children -- I will be so blessed!