The Vocations Centre

Discipleship Discerns Vocation


The Vocations Centre in Whitstable, Kent, seeks to foster a culture of vocation by sharing  the rich experience of diocesan Vocation Directors more widely in the Church. In recent years the National Association of Diocesan Vocations Directors has worked to develop a modern understanding of vocations ministry. Their insights have affected pastoral practice which has already begun to bear fruit in the promotion and selection of candidates for the diocesan priesthood. Another fruit of the work and insight of the Association has been the development national vocations events such as the annual Invocation Festival which attracts each year hundreds of young men and women from all over the country who come for a discernment - and not a recruitment - weekend.

The Vocations Centre, whose Director is the current President of the NADVD, offers a series of courses and seminars not only for diocesan priests but also for members of Religious Congregations, Parish Vocation Teams, catechists, the newly ordained and those working with young people.

Throughout the year the Vocations Centre is also a venue for Vocations Retreats and discernment weekends.

The Centre is run on a tight budget and welcomes donations to its work. Another easy way to support us is to take a look at our Amazon Wishlist on the sidebar of this blog. Your help ensures we can offer activities at subsidised rate to students and other young people.


Seminars & Courses
Contemporary Developments in Vocations Ministry
Insights for Religious
This four session seminar has been designed for members of Religious Congregations interested in promoting vocations to the consecrated life today. It will cover:
  I.  From Recruitment to Discernment: Developing Models of Vocations Ministry;
 II.  The New Evangelisation: Opportunities and Challenges;
III.  The Heart of the Matter: Discipleship Discerns Vocation;
IV.  Taking Things Forward: From Vision to Action.

Becoming Fishers of Men
A Seminar for the Recently Ordained
Young and newly ordained priests have a unique opportunity to inspire vocations. This four session seminar equips them to go out and become themselves "Fishers of Men":
  I.   Presenting Priesthood to Young People;
 II.   Creating a Culture of Discipleship;
III.   Identifying Potential Vocations;
IV.  Accompanying Young Vocations.

Workshop for New Vocations Personnel
An Induction Week for those New to Vocations Ministry
This workshop will cover everything from setting up a Vocations Office to the four pillars of priestly formation. It also includes an examination of the national selection procedures and paperwork.

Promoting Vocations in Parishes
Ideas and Resources
Ideal for members of Parish Vocation Teams or anyone interested in promoting vocations at parish level, this three session course will equip you with everything you need to foster a vocations culture in your parish.
  I.   Creating a Vocations Culture;
 II.   Sharing Simple Ideas;
III.   Reaching Out to Families.

Renewing Youth Ministry
A Course for those working with Young Adults
Whether you are already running a group, want to start one, or are just interested, this three session course will share insights and best practice from a variety of people engaged in exciting youth projects in England today. Discover how vocations ministry is the golden thread of youth work.
  I.   Agents of the New Evangelisation;
 II.   Using YouCat;
III.   Growing as Disciples.


Retreats & Days of Recollection
Advent Vocations Retreat
A chance to start the Church's new liturgical year in prayer and discernment.

Holy Week Retreat
An opportunity for men considering the priesthood to experience Holy Week through a profound experience of the Church's Liturgy.

Discovering Priesthood Weekends
These weekends for men considering the priesthood will look at different aspects of priestly life and ministry. They also provide a chance to get away from distractions to spend some time with the Lord in prayer.

Discerning Marriage Weekends
Weekends for young men and women seeking to understand more about the path to holiness which is marriage, a fundamental vocation in the Church.

Vocations Discernment Retreats
These weekend retreats for men and women will look at Christian discipleship as a pre-requisite for discerning one's vocation.

Renewing Priesthood Days
Sometimes it can be hard to get away from the parish. These days offer diocesan priests a chance to get away for some rest and recollection.

Ministry to Priests
Ministry to Priests and similar groups are always welcome to stay overnight or for a few days at the Vocations Centre. Why not book yourselves in when there is an 'R' in the month - Whitstable's oysters are famous!


Other Events...
The Vocations Centre is sometimes available at other times of the year to run your own retreat or weekend. Please contact us for more information.


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