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Pastor’s Blog

Vocations and New Pastors

As you May know, recently I had attended a conference on Vocation Ministry. Being appointed the new vocation director for the English community of Montreal, and with the new project to allow our rectory to become a house of discernment for men thinking of the priestly vocation, I decided to go to the D.V.D.C.(Diocesan Vocation Directors of Canada) conference in Ottawa from May 31rst to June 4th. The week was truly wonderful and helped me to situate myself in my new role as Vocations director Montreal.
The First part of the conference dealt with youth Culture and vocations. It was presented by two groups that work on the national and international level. The First group was N.E.T. ministries (National Evangelization Teams), and the second was C.C.O.(Catholic Christian Outreach). Both groups are about youth evangelizing youth. They allow young adults to develop their Faith and allowing them through music, skits, games and many other ways to evangelize other youth around the country.
They begin with a very simple process. First they introduce Christ Jesus as the living God who comes to bring us life in abundance He is our saviour and we are called to an intimate relationship with our God. Prayer and the sacraments help the youth to discover the Lord in a powerful way. The Eucharist in the mass, but especially Eucharistic adoration is reaching the hearts and minds of the young.
Secondly, once evangelized, once their hearts are set on fire for the Lord, the youth want to get involved. They want leadership that allows them to take their place in the community and become agents of evangelization themselves.
The third part then is mission. They want to know how they can serve Christ. They need to discern what it is God is calling then to.
My Job as Vocation Director is to help these young people in their discernment process and help them find their way. To do this, I am called to journey with these young adults, to mentor them and be with them as a guide and a steady witness to the life of faith that they can count on.
Both NET and CCO have shared with us the enormous success they are encountering in the many areas they are serving. NET even established a group in Ireland. They thought with the scandal in the church of Ireland that they would face a difficult mission, but on the contrary they have been met with a people thirsting for the truth of the Gospel and they are doing extremely well.
The second conference was given by Fr Ricci who is from the United States. He had been in the NCDVD which is the larger conferences about vocation work in the US.
He presented us with a very dynamic look at Vocation Ministry. He shared with us the Nine Principles for Diocesan Vocation Directors. I won't look at all of them here, but the main idea was that the Vocation Director is not a lone wolf. The Vocation Director is meant to be the hub of communication between the bishops and the priests and the laity in the diocese and to world with all three of these groups to help foster a culture of vocations and help people discern the vocation to which they are called to.
Every parish is called to evangelize, to help people encounter Christ, and then to respond to Christ through service to the community.
So I come out of this conference full of Hope and zeal for the future of our parish and the diocese of Montreal. as Vocation Director of Montreal and Pastor of St Willibrord I ask for your prayers and collaboration with me to build this Vocation Culture in Montreal and help people discern what God wants of them
People may ask, why do you need to go on these conferences? My answer to that is simple. Just like a computer needs to be updated periodically that it can function to its maximum potential so to do those who serve the community. If a doctor never read a medical journal after graduating from med-school, I donít think I would trust him.
Next week from June 20th to June 25th, I will be attending another Conference on Pastorship, called "Pastoring in the 21rst Century: skills for leading today's parishes."
I ask for your prayers and continued support that I continue to grow in the skill I need to minister to you and to the diocese.

Posted on Tuesday June 15 2010


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