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DECEMBER 2017 VISION E-Vocation Newsletter

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Three little words: God with us


IF YOU HAD to capture in three words the essence of your Christian faith, “God with us” would say it all. To say that God is with us means that our worldview has been turned upside down and the distinctions we’ve made between divine and human, time and eternity, natural and supernatural are no longer valid. God, maker of heaven and earth, isn’t out there in the cosmos somewhere busy creating the next universe with no thought for earthly creation. This superpower appears before us as a crying baby needing love and protection; as a preacher calling for our repentance; as an enemy of the state suffering and dying for our sins; as our savior promising life everlasting and an ever-present Holy Spirit among us. God is as close as your next breath. Breathe deeply. 

From Take Five for Faithreprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications. 

Discernment Matters
The choices of a lifetime



Every story is a story about power—and that includes Scripture. Consider: Creation is a tremendous exercise of power. So is Apocalypse, if the Book of Revelation has anything to say about it. When you read from Genesis to Revelation, you see that power plays a role in every story. Who has it, and who doesn’t. How it’s used, and whether folks are helped or harmed by it. The gospels are one long contest between the authority of Jesus and the authorities of this world. Power is a main character in salvation history.

Yet in deference to the virtue of humility, church folk are rarely anxious to talk about power. Not in church, not in religion class, and maybe not anywhere! Power does not seem to be a holy subject. It’s worldly, and that makes it not only profane but scary. 

So let’s adjust our thinking. Think about the shows you watch on TV: cops or lawyers, vampires or zombies, “reality” contests or political debates, game shows or nature documentaries. The point of every hour is to determine who wins. The same is true in our political lives, as well as in our personal relationships. If we don’t want to talk about power in church, we’re missing a great opportunity to redeem a significant aspect of human experience. 

—Alice Camille, 
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications

2019 VISION Spotlight
Calling for submissions - community prayer spaces



Prayer is essential to the call to Christian discipleship and religious life. Help us bring the beauty of community prayer to life for discerners by sharing the places where you go to pray, as well as your insights about prayer, what you learned about prayer since entering religious life, and other tips about prayer that would be useful on the vocation discernment journey.

The 2019 VISION Spotlight will be “Community Prayer Spaces.” We are inviting all to submit photos of your community prayer spaces (the interiors of your community churches and chapels as well as any other special places, indoor and outdoor, where you pray, individually or as a community).

Submissions are due Jan. 1.

We’ll print a selection of the submissions in the 2019 VISION Vocation Guide.

Please send via email to

Thank you!

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Cullings from VISION Vocation Network

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VISION articles on video:

5 ways to better prayer

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Roll out the welcome mat

Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation feature:

Are religious vocations on the rise or the decline?

Learn about hundreds of religious communities, including:

Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM - New Windsor, NY

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During this season of gratitude, we invite you to give back by paying forward with a contribution to help VISION continue its reach. For the past 30 years, VISION has helped more than 5 million people find their place in the church and connected thousands of men and women to vocation directors and religious communities around the world. The church needs our help, and we need yours to continue our important mission. Thank you for your continued support. DONATE NOW.

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VISION READERS, please let us know what more we can do to help you in your discernment or ministry. We welcome your feedback. Please share your own stories on the positive influence that priests, brothers, and sisters have had on you.

Contact Jennifer Tomshack at

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