Writing to his confreres on the topic of vocations in this anniversary years, Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, C.M., spiritual animator of the whole Vincentian Family addresses all of us.
A few months ago, I was approached by an international leader of a lay branch of the Vincentian Family, who brought up a proposal to encourage all the lay branches of the Vincentian Family to become involved actively or continue participating in promoting the culture of vocations to the consecrated life in the Congregations within the Vincentian Family. This lay member expressed this initiative with the following words, “You – sisters, lay brothers, and priests within the Vincentian Family – did and are doing so much for us laity. We would like to do something for you in return.” What wonderful encouragement, support, and initiative coming from a lay member of the Vincentian Family!
I would like to invite and encourage every individual member of a lay branch of the Vincentian Family to continue or to start being involved actively in building the culture of vocations to the consecrated life and also to be involved personally in vocation ministry, in a special way for the different Congregations of the Vincentian Family. This will be a clear sign that building a culture of vocations to the consecrated life is not something reserved exclusively for persons in consecrated life – sisters, lay brothers, and priests – but it is a ministry for all members of the Church, all members of the Vincentian Family, laity as well as those in consecrated life.
The approach, the ways of participating, may differ at times from one branch to another, but the goal remains the same: we, as Vincentian Family, all participate in building the culture of vocations to the consecrated life. How can a lay branch participate concretely in this undertaking?
- Pray regularly, individually or as a group, for new vocations to the consecrated life.
- Be attentive to the signs that Jesus may be calling a young man or woman to follow Him as a sister, lay brother, or priest and encourage him/her in that direction.
- Put forth the option, when speaking with youth, of the consecrated life as a very concrete choice. When speaking of marriage, we also should speak of consecrated life, so it is seen as a very normal choice, a normal call and response to one’s lifelong commitment.
- This jubilee year is a wonderful opportunity to continue or start encouraging renewed or new initiatives. The lay branches of the Vincentian Family together can build an environment, a culture, which will be receptive to the call to consecrated life as a normal response to one’s life mission. The lay branches carry on the same charism and spirituality. They are a natural environment where new vocations to the consecrated life are born.