Vocation Promotion: A Province-Wide Effort
Dear brothers, it is a great joy to serve the Province as the new Director of Vocations. In my conversations with several friars I have heard the question, “What can I do to help?” This is a great question, considering our Constitutions direct us each to promote vocations. Firstly, thank you all for the ways you have promoted, supported, and encouraged vocations already! I would ask you to pray for God to call good, young men to join us. I especially encourage each of us to offer some concrete sacrifice for the intention of vocations to our Province. Now, while the need to pray is entirely true and vitally important, it is not enough.
The first thing I would like to call to mind is how each of us experienced being called to the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Some of you may have searched diligently for the community where you fit, while others may have had an indirect connection with our community, like a friend who discerned with us. I would venture to say most of us had some significant encounter or relationship with one or several of our friars before entering. In recent years, most of the men who remain through initial formation and profess Solemn Vows had a significant connection with a friar or someone who had a close relationship with one or more of us before applying. This is a great testament to our life!
So, as far as how each of us can help promote vocations to our Province, I encourage each of you to establish and nurture wholesome relationships with young men who you could encourage to consider our way of life. Often it is when we speak about our personal story revealing our joy and fulfillment in living the Gospel like Francis did that a young man feels called to consider becoming a friar.
To that end, the days of putting out an ad and waiting for men to contact us are largely past. It is up to each of us to encourage specific men we know with phrases like, “I think you would make a good friar. Have you ever thought about it?” Then, if he is open to it, encourage him to check out our website and social media, get in touch with me at vocations@ franciscanstor.org or 814-419-8889. But even better would be to ask if you can give his contact info to me and I can reach out to him to have a conversation.
We will continue having two Come & See Weekends each semester. I have a few men in the process, but I need your help to fill them up. I plan to be in touch with various friars in the coming weeks and months to see about coming to where you minister to promote vocations. If you have any new or creative ideas about how to promote vocations, just let me know and we can consider it. Thank you for your prayers, support, and great witness to our life as friars!
Peace and good,
Fr. Vince Yeager, TOR Director of Vocations