Three Ways to Support Vocation Ministry

Posted: 10/13/2015

Wilmar Zabala, vocation counselorThe Vocation Office at Glenmary is a three-person team. Although each of us has different responsibilities, we support each other in working towards one common goal: encouraging good young men to consider the Glenmary priesthood or brotherhood and guiding them on that vocation journey. At one recent team meeting, we talked about the results of a vocation survey given to the Glenmary members, students and coworkers present at the 16th General Glenmary Chapter in June 2015. The survey shows an overwhelming desire to contribute to our vocation work.

I am encouraged to see that willingness by the entire Glenmary family to get involved. Surely, we do our best to promote Glenmary at vocation fairs and religious events throughout the country, but our small presence might not be enough to leave an enduring mark. It is people like you—the Glenmary members, students, coworkers, benefactors, mission members, social media visitors and e-newsletter readers—who regularly interact with our future Glenmary priests and brothers. They sit in your pews at Sunday Mass. They are in your classrooms. They are your peers. They play soccer or football in your neighborhood parks. They are your colleagues at work.

Promoting Glenmary vocations is really everyone's work. I invite you to commit today to joining us in this important task. Here are three simple ways in which you can help to create a vocation culture wherever you may be:

Invite: The number-one reason why young men do not consider Glenmary priesthood or brotherhood is that no one has ever asked them! Your invitation will certainly elicit a variety of responses. Some will give you a candid no. Others will grin and nod their heads in embarrassment. Invite them anyway. Even if the person responds with a sense of shock or laughter, the seed has been planted.

Be supportive: One fascinating fact about our current group of Glenmary students is that they come from four different continents! They are far away from their loved ones. Get to know them by reading their profiles on our Web site. Request from our office a copy of the student poster, which you can hang where you will remember to pray for them. Encourage your family members to write them notes of gratitude. It is amazing what a single word of appreciation can do to uplift someone's spirit.

Pray for vocations: Make it a part of your own spirituality. Say one Hail Mary for vocations every time you are stuck in traffic. Use a vocation-prayer card as a bookmark. Put a "Prayer for the Home Missions" card on your bedside table, and pray it before going to sleep. Start your parish meetings with a vocation prayer. Encourage your pastor to include vocations in the prayer of the faithful at Sunday Mass. Praying for vocations changes hearts.

In the Rite of Ordination of a Priest, a candidate is presented to the bishop, and this dialog between the presenter (usually a priest) and the bishop follows:

Priest: "Most Reverend Father, holy mother Church asks you to ordain this man, our brother, for service as a priest."
Bishop: "Do you judge him to be worthy?"
Priest: "After inquiry among the people of Christ and upon recommendation of those concerned with his training, I testify that he has been found worthy."
Bishop: "We rely on the help of the Lord God and our Savior Jesus Christ, and we choose this man, our brother, for priesthood in the presbyteral order."
All present: "Thanks be to God!"

I put two phrases in the preceding paragraph in bold type because all the faithful have an important role in forming future priests. I hope that the next time you attend a Glenmary ordination you can proudly say, "Thanks be to God," knowing that you have participated in this important task of vocation work.