BY SISTERS BARBARA THIFFAULT AND LUCY KEARNEY
The Inter-Congregational Vocation Committee met on January 26, 2010. At this meeting, Anne Heemskerk, the new Coordinator for Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of Kingston, presented plans underway for the upcoming Youth Conference, ‘Celebrating Catholic Youth 2010’, at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Kingston on May 8th. Representatives from most of the Religious Congregations will make a joint presentation on religious life and have displays available. A similar discussion ensued at the Archdiocesan Joint Vocation Committee meeting on February 4th.
Liaison with School Board and Schools
At the invitation of Bronek Korczynski, co-ordinator of Religious and Family Life Studies for the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Sisters Lucy Kearney and Barbara Thiffault attended a presentation by Dr. Mark McGowan, Principal of the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto, at the school board offices in Napanee on November 20, 2009.
Dr. McGowan spoke about the history of Catholic Schools in Ontario and the role of the Religious Congregations during this time. Because this history is being developed in the Civics Course of the Catholic Secondary Schools, we were encouraged to submit ways that we, as Religious, could support and enhance the program. As a result, the Inter-Congregational Committee has prepared a flyer indicating ways that we could be involved in this unit of study. This information has been circulated throughout the schools.
Archdiocesan Joint Vocation Committee
The Prayer for Vocations chosen by this Committee was approved by Archbishop O’Brien. It has been distributed to all the parishes for printing in their bulletins and it appears on the Archdiocesen web site. We are aware that several parishes have made the prayer available and others are praying it after Mass. It is interesting to note that the prayer was printed on Father Bernard O’Neill’s memorial card.
Sister Barbara Thiffault, SP
Vocation Day at St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School, Belleville
Since this is the Year of the Priest, St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School planned a Vocation Day. A representative from each of the four religious congregations in Kingston and Anne Heemskerk were invited to participate in a joint presentation to the girls at the Vocation Day. Each Sister shared the story of her call and presented a few interesting facts on her congregation. Anne shared her call to marriage.
Likewise, priest representatives made presentations to the male students. The morning session concluded with the Eucharistic Liturgy presided over by Archbishop Brendan O’Brien.
Sister Theresa Shannon, RHSJ
All presenters agreed that this was truly a Vocation Day as opposed to a Career Day.
In reflecting on this event, we noted a spirit of hopefulness that resulted from the collaboration between the Inter-Congregational Committee and the Coordinator of Youth Ministry for our Archdiocese.
Anne Heemskerk, Coordinator of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese
Anne Heemskerk’s enthusiasm and experience with young people has encouraged us in our efforts to sew the seeds of a culture of vocation.
World Day for Consecrated Life
Our Congregation’s Vocation Team prepared material for circulation within the Community to commemorate World Day for Consecrated Life. Archbishop O’Brien circulated a suggested prayer intention to be used in the parishes. At our last Joint Vocation meeting, he proposed suggestions for next year’s observance of this Day.
Sister Peggy Malcolm, SC, at St. Theresa Secondary School
Vocation Team – Western Representative
Sister Rita Gleason, member of the Vocation Team, highlighted some activities of the Edmonton Archdiocesan Vocation Committee to promote a culture of vocation. A Discernment Retreat was held on February 6th at which 8 – 10 men and women attended. The Western Catholic newspaper has extended an invitation to the religious to submit their stories and to highlight their charism. They continue to hold the ‘Coffee House’ events.
Sister Barbara Prior, CND, speaks to students at St. Theresa Secondary School in Belleville
Prayer for Vocations
Bless your Church
with holy and faithful priests,
deacons, brothers and sisters.
Give those you have called
to the married state
and those you have chosen
to live as single persons in the world, the special
graces that their lives require.
Form us all in the likeness
of your Son so that in him,
with him and through him
we may love you more deeply
and serve you more faithfully,
always and everywhere.
With Mary we ask this through
Christ our Lord.
Something to think about…..
A way in which we can assist young women to test whether their dream could find a home within our Congregation is ….