A new workshop aims to help parishes create an environment where a call to a religious vocation is easier to hear and answer.
“We live in such a secular society. There are so many distractions. We know God still gives the call, but it’s harder to hear,” said Bob Hublar, president of the St. Serra Club of Louisville. The club is dedicated to fostering and supporting vocations.
Representatives of nine churches in the Archdiocese of Louisville took part in the first “Ignite” workshop, offered in early September by the USA Council of Serra International. It was organized locally by the archdiocese’s Vocation Office and the St. Serra Club’s local members.
The workshop called on participants to begin a parish vocation ministry by:
- Praying for vocations.
- Supporting those who may have a vocation.
- Leading the parish in using resources offered by Serra International.
Serra has developed resources called “Spark Tools” to help parishes form their vocation ministry. The tools are meant to help individuals understand the need for vocations, pray for vocations, affirm those who have answered the call and invite and encourage vocations.
Participants in the initial workshop wrote a plan of action to take back to their parishes, Hublar said.
Vicar for Vocations Father Martin Linebach, who spoke at the event, said Ignite is “truly parish based. We light the candle, but they’re to keep it burning.”
The effort is meant to be led by parishioners, he noted, with the support of the Vocation Office and the Serra Club. Each vocation ministry group will have a mentor to support them.
The goal, said Hublar, is to start a program at as many parishes as possible. To that end, the St. Serra Club of Louisville intends to host additional Ignite workshops, he said.
Alex Willinger, a member of St. Margaret Mary Church who attended Ignite, said the workshop has helped him in his ministry as a catechist who works with eighth-graders.
“It’s important they start thinking of vocation early on and start picturing themselves in this role,” Willinger said. “If they don’t hear about it at church, I’m not sure where in this secular society they will.”
He said the program will be a support as his parish creates a vocation ministry. And the parish vocation group will be a good place to find resources, he added. To learn more about the USA Council of Serra International, visit serraus.org.