Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 10, 2004
Dynamic blueprint drawn up to create a vocation culture
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
Ursuline of Prelate Sister Gertrude Sopracolle brandished a manual of change at 60 women and pronounced it good.
The document, entitled Conversion, Discernment, Mission: Fostering a Vocation Culture in North America was produced as a result of a North American conference in Montreal some two years ago on consecrated life and vocations.
"It's a wonderful document. It is essentially to foster a vocation culture," Sopracolle said. "We are not talking only of priesthood and consecrated life of men and women.
"The foundation has to be made as solidly for this as it does for stewardship. And I do not think the two areas are different."
Sopracolle made her remarks May 1 at the Council of Women Religious gathering at the Pastoral Centre for their general assembly.
Sopracolle singled out the youth ministry done in Holy Family Parish in St. Albert as something that fostered a mind set in youth that being in church is the preferred option. She again sees parents and children together in church for Mass.
"You again see the children really involved in church," she said. "Something we discussed at the conference was that if we want a Church with priests and sisters for the future, we have to invest in youth. And one of the areas we mentioned is the money needed by a parish to hire a youth worker. The parish has to be behind that kind of a commitment."
Her experience with World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002 was a wake up call of sorts for Sopracolle. She gained a sense of just how influenced youth are by what media produces.
"I was struck by how important the media are. This was the first big Catholic event that received blanket coverage from A to Z.
"I realized we have a job on our hands to counteract what many young people are seeing on television. It's scary what kind of images they see," she said. "But the celebration of WYD has made a great difference. And on May 23 at St. Dominic Savio Parish we will celebrate WYD. Those events are simply like a renewal of vows for us."
Those events are also what Sopracolle describes as the basis for a vocation culture that will revitalize the passions of humanity to want a faith-based life.
There are six chapters in the manual which serve as a model not necessarily for recruitment, but to get people involved in projects and ministry in a way to heed the call of God. The manual encourages people to ask themselves and others about their participation with Church. There is also a section exclusively for youth.
"The manual identifies the Generation Xers as people born from 1960 to 1979 and the Millennials as those born from 1980 on. The Gen. Xers are a hardened group who are anti-establishment. But the Millen-nials seem to have swung in the other direction, looking for security. They are the type who could spend hours in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. They are longing for community of some kind."
Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of Conversion, Discernment, Mission: Fostering a Vocation Culture in North America can call the Catholic Pastoral Centre at (780) 469-1010.