Friday, November 30, 2012
Vocation Directors Conference
As I mentioned in a post short while ago, we recently had our annual Vocation Directors Conference which was hosted this year by st John's Seminary, Wonersh. St John's is the seminary for the Southwark province but also welcomes students from other parts of the country and, this year, from Scotland as well.
During the Conference Fr William Massie gave a presentation of the document from the Holy See with pastoral guidelines for promoting priestly vocations and Mgr Paul Grogan spoke about the New Evangelisation - a talk that certainly produced some discussion. Later Fr Terry Martin, who lectures on spirituality at Wonersh, spoke about spiritual direction and the specific 'secular' spirituality of a diocesan priest. I gave a couple of presentations, one on the nature of the Conference as an association of diocesan vocation directors and on its future, and another on the importance of getting priests involved in the work of vocations promotion.
Fr Christopher Jamison was there to receive feedback on the vocations resources offered by the National Office for Vocation and on our experiences of the launch of the National Vocations Framework. He and Judith Eydmann, the development officer at the National Office for Vocation, gave a presentation of their work over the last year to the assembly on the Friday morning.
This year's meeting coincided with the election of officers that takes place every three years. I was re-elected chair nem con, and Mgr Paul Grogan and Fr Terry Martin similarly retained their posts as Vice-Chairman and Treasurer respectively.
As a consequence of the renewed mandate and following discussion with the members of the Conference I have asked Chris Smith from Birmingham to help us develop the role of Executive Director for the conference. Basically, the idea is to establish a structure whereby all the good ideas as well as the thinking - blue sky or wishful - that takes place at the conference can be distilled into an achievable programme of action, developed further and, indeed, complemented in various ways.