Fostering a Vocations Culture: Pastoral Plan for Vocations in North America Launched

Monday, April 07 2003

(Ottawa – CCCB)  The pastoral plan of the Third Continental Congress on Vocations to Ordained Ministry and Consecrated Life in North America has just been released.

The 136-page plan is the result of last April’s Congress in Montreal that saw 1200 people from across North America gather to examine the current vocations situation and develop strategies for the future.  It was held at the request of the Holy Father and was organized by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops working in collaboration.

The plan, entitled “Conversion, Discernment and Mission: A Practical Guide for Fostering a Vocations Culture in North America”, is a reflection and a guide for practical action, proposing strategies and answers to the question “How do we create and establish a ‘vocations culture’ throughout the Church in North America?”   Intended for everyone for whom vocations make a difference, it lists practical suggestions for bishops and community leaders of institutes for consecrated life, as well as members of the clergy and religious, parents and many others in the Christian community.

The user-friendly document contains two sections:  The first is called Foundations – Conversion and Discernment which discusses the process of the Vocations Congress. The second section Action – Mission looks at concrete ways to create this vocations culture, including a facilitator’s guide for meetings in parishes, deaneries, dioceses, eparchies, communities, national organizations and regions.

One of the Congress’ prime orientations was to foster a “preferential option for the young.” This is reflected throughout the pastoral plan as a result of the dynamic and emotionally moving participation of a large contingent of young adults at the Congress who committed themselves to the future of the Church, asking in turn for its support and guidance.