Sunday, January 16, 2011

How to Foster Vocations

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 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 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)

Vocations Websites & Blogs


  1. this is a great post Erika. so true, we need to foster vocations in our homelife. I will now start asking What is God calling you to do/be, instead of the ole what do you want to be when you grow up. checking out your links now.

  2. =) glad you like it Gardenia...isn't it interesting how we are so accustomed to that question? Just tonight my daughter (as I was tucking her into bed) said, "Mama, I need to think about what I am going to be when I grow up!" (sounding very anxious as if she was 18 and ready to turn in her college application - she is only 4, btw) So, it was the perfect time to apply what I learned from this article just last night, so I said, "Baby, I'm glad you are thinking about this but realize that you have a lot of time to pray about this and to ask God what He wants you to be." She smiled (sign that she was happy with my reply) and said, "I love you, Mama, and I will pray and wait to see what He wants me to do." SO SWEET!!!

    The innocence of our children and their love and trust for our Lord should be our example of how we should lead our lives, don't you think? :)

  3. thank you for this encouraging post. i look forward to checking out ans sharing your links.
    dad offers his daily rosary intentions for vocations in our family and other Catholic families.
    we pray for the spiritual protection of priests on a daily basis.
    we visit 5 religious orders by the time the children are 15 years old. each child is required to attend a vocation retreat with other young, like-minded people, before he/she turns 17. they are encouraged at an early age to give their first fruits.
    we train our children up to discern God's will, always, and most importantly, to answer Him promptly.
    my husband and i grew up with parents who had good intentions but emphasized, "do what makes you happy." we were convicted early on that our children would be brought up to do what makes Him happy. we pray that our seeds take root.


  4. @JOYfilled Family...those are just AWESOME suggestions!!! I love do you set up visiting religious orders? Do you do this when they are small? I love that and the retreats...I want to get in the van right now!!! ;) So awesome to hear all the suggestions and wonderful things other Catholics are doing!