Vocation Awareness Week is held the first full week of November every year to pray for, encourage, aid and promote vocational discernment. Many schools and parishes use this time to invite those in religious life to speak with their students. This is an opportunity for students to meet a priest, brother or sister, and begin to imagine themselves as a religious. The Sisters of the Precious Blood were invited to participate in a few of these activities around the Dayton area.
Tuesday morning, Sister Regina Albers and I spoke with the seventh graders at St. Christopher School in Vandalia, Ohio. As part of their week’s scheduled activities, we were invited to speak on our respective vocations. Sister Regina shared her discernment story, experience teaching at St. Christopher and ministry in Chile. Students asked her about Precious Blood Spirituality and to describe her daily schedule as a Sister.
Tuesday evening, Sister Cecilia Taphorn and I attended a young adult dinner at St. Mary of the Assumption in Springboro, Ohio. A small group of young adults shared tacos and discussion about vocation and discernment. They were interested in the process of discernment and how to choose a particular religious community. Father Steve dos Santos was also in attendance.
As part of Ohio’s Statewide Holy Hour for Vocations, we hosted a time of adoration on Wednesday evening at Salem Heights to pray for those discerning God’s call in their life. Over 30 Sisters attended to pray. It was a blessing to be among holy women in prayer.
On Thursday, Sister Ann Clark, Father Steve dos Santos and I hosted a vocation panel for juniors during lunch at Catholic Central School in Springfield, Ohio. We also spoke in two religion classes, answering questions about Precious Blood Spirituality and daily life as a religious. The seniors posed some great questions about Catholicism, choosing a vocation and steps in the formation process.
Saturday morning, I attended a 5K for Vocations in Carthagena, Ohio, hosted by the Knights of Columbus. It was a bit too cold for me to participate, but Sister Marla Gipson bundled up and completed her 3.1 miles. Local newspapers and Sacred Heart Radio promoted this event and vocations, thanks to our encouragement.
Our social media accounts were also abuzz during the week. We debuted six new videos during Vocation Awareness Week, four of which shared the vocation stories of our Sisters. Our posts were viewed over 2,200 times!
It was wonderful to be with so many young people during this week, and I am encouraged by their thoughtful questions. They are eager to meet those in religious life and are curious about the joy they see among vowed religious. I love being able to create opportunities to bring the Sisters and young people together. I look forward to creating more of these occasions throughout the year — especially as we begin to plan for National Catholic Sisters Week in March!
– Story and photos by Jenna Legg