Friday, May 30, 2008

Vocations Forum

Yesterday I attended the Vocations Forum organised at Westminster Cathedral by the National Office for Vocation. This year to mark the tenth anniversary of In Verbo Tuo the theme was "Sowing the Seed". In the morning Fr Paul Embery and Judith Eydmann gave us an account of the work of the National Office over the last year. We then split into smaller groups and discussed a few questions posed by the National Office. I was very pleased to meet up again in my group with Fr David Foster OSB from Downside. Fr David and I studied together in Rome in the late eighties.

Having reflected on the various questions we then had to feed back to a plenary session. Judith took charge of the flip-chart and will be producing notes for the participants. It was quite interesting to hear the concerns and interests of the various participants. There seemed to be a general consensus that we need to work more to develop our ministry to young adults in the Church.

After Holy Mass in the Cathedral followed by lunch, we met again to discuss questions that had been posed by some of the participants themselves. If I'm honest, I probably found this and the feedback which followed less helpful. Personally I'm of the view that it's a mistake to complain about what others aren't doing or to expect other people to act on what we think ought to be done. Someone once said "If it's worth doing it's worth doing badly". I'd add "If it's worth doing - go ahead and do it".

I also learnt (the hard way) that people can get very touchy if you don't mention religious life and consecrated life in the same breath and also if you don't know your nun from your sister! Ah well. Anyway, here's a picture of a very pleasant Ursuline sister whom I met on the day.

I must say I found the whole day very enlightening. It was good to meet old friends and also to be given a greater insight into the problems faced by Religious Congregations and Orders - oh yes, and err Secular Institutes too. (Apologies if I've left anyone out!).

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