I found this fantastic article entitled: Seven Quick Takes: How to Foster Vocations and thought that our RLS followers would also enjoy it. My favorite suggestion has to be the one that says to stop asking children what they want to be when they grow up and instead ask, "Who is God calling you to be?” We don't push for the religious life at our home **wink** (though deep in me I'd be the happiest mother in the world if all of our children became priests and nuns; though DH says he'd like one boy to keep the family name going), but instead we are active about discussing this as an option, just like marriage. So in today's post, I'd like to focus on promoting vocations to the religious life.
In our home these are some of the ways we foster vocations:
1. All boys whom have received First Holy Communion, train to serve at the Altar. Our eldest knows most of all the positions to serve at the Latin Mass and just today we asked our Associate if he would train him to serve in the Novus Ordo...he will be trained this Spring and ready to serve ASAP (since our Latin Mass was moved 50 minutes North of us)
2. We are friendly with our priests and make it a custom to say hello and encourage the children to speak with them as well. We also invite priests over for dinner (which reminds me we need to invite our new associate to dinner-wonder what his favorite is?). We encourage the children to draw pictures or make them simple cards through out the year and for special days.
3. We have a card that our Diocese publishes with the names and pictures of all the seminarians in our Diocese. This card sits at our Home Altar and we say special prayers for them to Our Lady of Perpetual Help as we have commend them to her guidance and aide in these difficult times of our Mother Church.
4. We use technology to promote vocations. For example, we love to pray the Rosary with a DVD of Mother Angelica and her nuns...my kids have asked (especially my daughter) tons of questions while watching them pray the Rosary. We also love to surf the internet and find recordings of Ordinations and Solemn Professions. =) Movies/videos of the lives of Saints (religious or not) is also another great way to discuss vocations.
5. We have this really great book called, Could I Paint the Sky (a book I reviewed on CatholicMom.com)...which talks about how you can discern the vocation God has in store for you...again, "who is God calling you to be?"
Have you prayed for our priests and for the increase of vocations? Maybe this could be something your Domestic Church would like to take up for the new year?
So tell us, how do you foster vocations in your homes?
“The pastoral care of vocations needs to involve the entire Christian community in every area of its life. Obviously, this pastoral work on all levels also includes exploring the matter with families, which are often indifferent or even opposed to the idea of a priestly vocation. Families should generously embrace the gift of life and bring up their children to be open to doing God's will. In a word, they must have the courage to set before young people the radical decision to follow Christ, showing them how deeply rewarding it is.” Pope Benedict XVI (Sacramentum Caritatis, 25)