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OCTOBER 2018 VISION E-Vocation Newsletter

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Discernment Matters
The choices of a lifetime


Not long ago, I was invited to address a parish youth group. I was told: “You don’t have to prepare anything. You can just say a few words.” This sort of thing discourages me: that our youth are not viewed as worthy of genuine preparation, or that saying a few words is deemed sufficient to fulfill our responsibility to their faith formation.

So I met with the young people. I asked them to “speed date” with the twelve U.S. saints, supplying a dozen rapid biographies of what folks like Damien de Veuster and Frances Xavier Cabrini managed to accomplish with their wild and precious lives.

Then I challenged the group: It’s the 21st century, and you are about to found a religious community to meet the needs of YOUR generation. What will be the mission of this order? Who can join it, what will it look like, how will it proceed? I gave the kids twenty minutes to come up with a plan. They got right to work.

I wish the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had been in that church basement with us! Each small group of young people presented a visionary and plausible new community. One was dedicated to repairing our fractured relationship with the environment. Another existed for and also with undocumented workers. One was aptly called RC4LBGTQ. One drew its peacemaking goal from its membership: both ecumenical and interfaith.

How do we harness such idealism? How can the church live up to our children’s dreams of us?

—Alice Camille,
reprinted with permission from TrueQuest Communications

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You talk. We'll listen
A conversation with young Catholics and vocation directors

National Religious Vocation Conference invites teens and young adult Catholics to join in a conversation about your faith, what brings you joy, and how the church can serve you better.

The National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) will be hosting an afternoon of dialogue with young adults at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY on Nov. 3, 2018 at 3 p.m. on faith, decision-making, and what younger Catholics see as the gifts and challenges of the church. Youth groups, young adults, and vocation directors in the Buffalo area are welcome to attend the live audience, and all other can join in via the internet for a livestream broadcast.

Young adults: Here’s your chance to identify key issues that you find challenging. Get tips on how to become your best self. Tell your story to Catholic sisters, brothers, and priests who are eager to listen. If you are unsure where your life is leading youwhere you can find joy, where you can be of most service to the worldthen this gathering is for you. With an audience filled with experts in discerning life choices and inviting God into the process, you will be given some excellent suggestions on how to find the life path that is right for you.

Vocation Directors and other church leaders: Hear first-hand what’s on the minds of young Catholics. Receive a unique opportunity to assure young adults of your desire to accompany them in discerning God’s plan for their lives. Most of all, listen to the young people’s hopes and dreams for themselves and for the church.

NRVC is hosting this gathering in response to the Bishops Synod on faith, youth, and vocational discernment where there is a call for more intentional and sustained outreach and engagement with youth. The event convenes from 3-7 p.m. with a one-hour livestreamed discussion from 3:15 followed by a short prayer service and free pizza.

If you are interested in being part of the youth panel, please contact Or go to for more information.

This is an open and free event, but registration is kindly requested for accurate counts:

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Editors are standing by

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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© 2018, TrueQuest Communications
published on behalf of the National Religious Vocation Conference