Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Six Tips to Survive Your Vocations Director

We Vocations Directors are only human. Here are some tips on how to survive yours...

Tip One:
Don't Be too Cautious...
The Lord tells us to "launch out into deep water"! Prudence does not mean finding everything there is to know about every possible vocation before making a decision. What young man would say to his girlfriend, "I think I should marry you - but I want to check out every other girl in the world first so as not to make a mistake"? As one Vocations Director put it: "God can't drive a parked car. Move!"

Tip Two: 
Stop visiting vocation websites and visit a Vocations Director instead...
Websites are useful in many ways but there comes a point when you've learnt all you're going to learn from them. Besides the information on websites is necessary generic whereas your vocation is specific to you. You need help from an experienced Vocations Director.

Tip Three:
Don't expect Champagne...
Ok, so it's your life and your giving it to God. For you it's a big deal. For your Vocations Director it might just be some spotty nosed kid whose not going to follow through. So what if he doesn't crack open the champagne? Does that mean God's not calling you? Time to get real: you're not doing God a favour - he's doing one for you!

Tip Four:
Get Ready to Press the Reset Button...
Yeah, I know. It happens occasionally. You phoned the Vocations Director and he told you off for calling during the football. Or when you said you've been "discerning your vocation" he told you you haven't because you can only do that with him. Sorry. What more can I say? Do not take it as a sign you don't have a vocation - it's more likely to be a sign your bishop needs to appoint a new Vocations Director! If things got off to a bad start, you may need to press the Reset button and start all over again.

Tip Five:
Learn to Obey...
If the Vocations Director invites you to an event try to be there. If he tells you to "keep in touch" make sure you do. You do want to be a priest, don't you?

Tip Six:
Make sure you don't dig your own grave...
Never a good idea to suffocate the Vocations Director. He'll be more impressed to see you getting on with your peers, serving at table and doing the washing up, than to have you running after him with tales of how you're descended from Lord Ponsonby Ponsonby Smythe of Shuttlecock Mansion, Meeville.

As Chairman of the Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors I would like to point out that all the Vocations Directors of England and Wales are perfect in every way. Especially the one in Southwark.

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