Here are 10 simple ways for families to support and promote vocations in their homes.
1. IDENTIFY THE GIFTS OF FAMILY MEMBERS.
Through baptism each of us has received special gifts and talents. Reflect as a family on the gifts and talents of each person and how they can be used in service to the family and to the parish. There is a place for each of your unique gifts in the Church.
Of all the ways we can work toward the increase of vocations to the priesthood, prayer is undoubtedly the most essential. Make a commitment to pray for this intention everyday as a family, perhaps at mealtime. Also consider praying for a particular priest in your parish.
3. OFFER FRIENDSHIP TO PRIESTS
Whether it’s sharing a meal, or taking a walk, or simply having a conversation, make an effort to share friendship with priests and religious. Friendships will foster awareness, communication and respect for the lifestyle and needs of each person. Feelings of happiness and satisfaction will be the sure result!
4. PARTICIPATE IN PARISH ACTIVITIES.
A healthy parish community includes the participation of all its members. The involvement of your family in the activities offered in your parish will help create the life-giving environment necessary for nurturing priestly vocations.
5. TELL STORIES
Recall time in your lives when a priest showed kindness to you and helped make a positive difference. Have the children share an experience too. Talk about what these men mean to you and the services they offer to God’s people, the Church.
6. SAY THANK YOU
We all know that is feels good to be thanked. Say thanks to a priest. It is encouraging for them to feel that their generosity is being appreciated and the time they spend in service to the parish community is being recognized. Offering thanks also sheds a positive light on the priesthood.
7. ATTEND MASS
The celebration of the Eucharist is a fundamental aspect of our faith. Gathering around the Lord’s table will serve to strengthen the bond in your own family and the bond of the parish family. It is a strong parish family that produces priestly vocations. Bring the children – they add life to the celebration!
8. SEND CARDS.
Find out the anniversary dates of ordination celebrated by priests, and send them a card. By this simple act, they will be assured of our prayers, support and friendship. It will also serve to reinforce the family atmosphere of the parish community.
9. PERFORM ACTS OF CHARITY.
In the Gospels, Jesus directs us to love our neighbor, and He calls us to serve one another. There are various ways that we can behave charitably and serve the Lord gladly. Look into ways that your family can generously meet the needs of your neighbors. A charitable heart is a hallmark of a priestly vocation.
10. REMEMBER THAT YOUR HOME IS THE “DOMESTIC CHURCH.”
Parents are the first preachers of the faith to their children, and the home is where early formation occurs. Create a climate within your home that will foster and encourage all members of your family to live out the vocation that God has planned for them. Pray, read spiritual books, talk about your faith and vocations to the priesthood. Let your home truly be a dwelling place for the Lord!