Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Launch of the National Framework

Today saw a remarkable event take place at the Amigo Hall by St George's Cathedral, Southwark. It was the fourth and final gathering to mark the launch of the National Vocation Framework, the three principle aims that will direct the work of the National Office for Vocation over the next few years. These are: (1) to promote an understanding of vocation; (2) to communicate vocation; and (3) to foster the discernment of vocation.

Over a hundred people gathered for the event. In my discussion group one of the sisters made an interesting comment: she said she was impressed by the fact that there were so many men present because in her experience it was usually sisters who gathered to talk about vocations. A good number of the participants said the day gave them hope and others said they appreciated the fact that there was no sense of competition. One very interesting observation came from a Novice Mistress who said her three most recent vocations were all former atheists.

The day began with a welcome from Archbishop Peter followed by an address by Fr Christopher Jamison in which he spoke of the disappearance of a 'total Catholic culture' which had, in the past, been the seedbed of vocations and how John Paul II had spoken of the need to promote a vocation culture as a response to this. In the afternoon there were presentations on the various sorts of discernment groups operative in England and Wales today. Sr Cathy Jones did a very good job of presenting these in a systematic way. I had the opportunity to speak a little bit about the challenge of the New Evangelisation and possible responses to them.

All in all, I think everyone has been given the chance to reflect on what they might do to promote a general culture of vocation within their communities, parishes and places of work.

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