Friday, January 18, 2013

Contemporary Developments in Vocations Ministry

Fr Christopher Jamison with some of the delegates present
On Tuesday we held the first session of a four-part seminar for members of Religious Congregations to share with them some recent developments in Vocations Ministry and, in particular, the experiences and approach to vocations work developed by the Conference of Diocesan Vocations Directors. Fr Christopher Jamison gave the first input of the day, establishing which spiritual traditions the various communities represented were from and their current approach to vocations work. He then developed his presentation at the launch of the National Vocations Framework giving an interesting account of the expectations and culture of "Generation Y' as modern youngsters are sometimes called. This led to a discussion about the self-identity of religious congregations and, to my mind, some very interesting reflections on religious life as it has developed and the possibility of looking at the concept of Secular Institutes as a more suitable identity for some congregations. Fr Christopher spoke of a Community in France where some members wanted to live a more "traditional" religious life(in community and with communal prayer) and others felt called to a greater insertion into the world by living among the people in house of twos and threes. Each sister was given the option of choosing which she wanted to pursue.
After a light lunch which gave the participants the opportunity to meet a group of young adults staying here on retreat, I presented on where we have come from and where we are in our work as diocesan vocation directors. This introduced concepts that are becoming increasingly familiar such as the shift from recruitment to discernment and, more recently, the need to foster discipleship among young adults with the confidence that discipleship discerns vocation.

For information about future events and seminars at the Vocations Centre please email us.

The Southwark Vocations Office looks after vocations in London south of the Thames.

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