We have a diverse group of people on our Vocation Ministry Team. Together our group consists of a priest, parents, teachers, and young people. On our team we have a representative from our Catholic School, a theology professor, and a Grand Knight from the Knights of Columbus.
Our ministry team has only been together for a short time, but we have accomplished a great deal. Our main goal is to help make our parishioners more aware of the need for vocations in our church, especially vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The most important way we can achieve this is through our prayer as a worshipping community.
Vocation Program Sacred Heart Parish, New Smyrna Beach
1. Starting in 2014 we’re going to invite the Confirmande to ordinations (diaconate and priesthood) to experience the beautiful ordination ceremony and also to a fun activity after the ordination.
2. We are presently using the Elijah Cup in our parish, and it is working very well.
3. We are going to start using an Elijah Cup in the classrooms of our Catholic school and have the students pray for vocations as a class.
4. Vocation prayer cards have been purchased and will be given out to the ministers of the sick on Friday mornings. These ministers who bring the Eucharist to the homebound, will pray the vocation prayer on the card with each person they visit. The parishioner who is homebound will keep the holy card and be asked to make the prayer for vocations a part of his/her daily prayer life.
5. Starting in 2014, the Knights of Columbus will be organizing an essay contest for 5th, 6th, 7th, grade boys and girls from our Catholic School. The essays will be based on interviews with priests, sisters or seminarians. Winners will be chosen by the Vocations Ministry Team. Prizes for winners will be given out on the Sunday during National Vocational Awareness Week – January. Also, two altar servers (senior, junior) will receive award at same time from Knights of Columbus. It has been suggested that the school children contact the villa to ask any of the Redemptorists if they would mind being interviewed to hear their vocation stories.
6. The Knights of Columbus and Council of Catholic Women plan to offer financial support to seminarians. The vocation team is going to explore the possibility of offering financial support to our Redemptorist seminarians in a poor country.
7. In 2014 for the Feast of All Saints, rather than just dress up as Saints for the procession at Mass, middle school children will do one or both of the following:
- Essay, “My Favorite Saint (and why)”
- Essay, “Qualities of a Priest/Religious”
The winning essay would go to the Florida Catholic.
8. A Prayer for Vocations has been implemented at every Sunday Mass in the Prayer of the Faithful.
9. In every Sunday parish bulletin, we have a “Vocation Corner” which features a ‘vocation comment’ from a priest or religious regarding topics such as; prayer, community life, the vows, discernment, etc. Also, important vocation websites are published every week.
10. Immediately publish “discernment” websites in our Sunday bulletin, in particular, Redemptorist sites, also at the school and on youth ministry boards. Also, begin a “vocations corner” in the bulletin.
11. This year (2013), two vocation clubs have been organized. We have two clubs, one for the fourth and fifth graders, and one for the sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Presently, the two clubs are just for boys. Plans for separate girl’s vocation clubs are being discussed with the vocation ministry team.
12. In our new youth center we plan to create a vocations support section with various vocation materials, books, DVD’s, etc. We plan to create an environment where young people will feel comfortable to relax, read, watch, learn, or be involved in faith centered experiences. Hopefully through their interaction with priests, religious and other youth, God’s call may be become more discernable.
13. Starting in October we will begin to focus on the Year For the Redemporist Missionary Vocation. Through our parish bulletin, signs, announcements, and other ways we will continue to communicate the theme: Witnesses and Missionaries of Redemption. The vocation ministry team and the youth ministry team will meet to discuss and plan additional activities to highlight this special Year For the Redemporist Missionary Vocation.
Loving and Generous God,
it is You who call us by name
and ask us to follow You.
Help us to grow in the Love
and Service of our Church
as we experience it today.
Give us the energy and courage
of Your Spirit
to shape its future
Grant us faith-filled leaders
who will embrace Christ’s Mission
of love and justice.
Bless the Church of Sacred Heart
by raising up dedicated and generous leaders
from our families and friends
who will serve Your people as Sisters,
Priests, Brothers, Deacons and Lay Ministers.
Inspire us to know You better
and open our hearts
to hear Your call.
We ask this through our Lord.
If you would like to help us in this ministry, or if you have any questions please call the Parish Office, 386-428-6426.