It has been a while since I have blogged, so some may be wondering what has been going on in my life and in the Vocations ministry in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. While July and the beginning of August are some of the busiest weeks of the year in the Vocations Office – hence not much time to blog! – the end of August and beginning of September are some of the slowest weeks of the year – hence not much to blog about! At the beginning of August, we finalized the application and admission process for five new seminarians who began formation this fall for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, and then we gathered all 26 of our seminarians together for our annual Seminarian Convocation – three days of prayer, fellowship, retreat, and pilgrimage. Then, in mid-August, these men returned to their seminaries and settled in for a new formation year … and as we passed off primary responsibility for their formation to the seminary staffs, the Vocations Office slowed down for a few weeks to take a deep breath and think about and plan for the upcoming year.
That planning has been in full-gear over the past few weeks, although in general with a slower pace of events, presentations, meetings, and travel. We have been working especially on implementing a new Vocation Lessons curriculum for K-12 young people in Catholic schools, faith formation programs, and youth ministry, especially by training teachers and catechists on this new curriculum. We have been scheduling vocation outreach visits and presentations for the year, especially with the Catholic high schools and college campus ministry centers in the Archdiocese. We have been preparing our annual resources in anticipation of National Vocations Awareness Week, including a seminarian directory and prayer cycle and seminarian and religious in formation posters. We have finalized a new logo for the Vocations Office. We have begun work on putting together a Seminarian Handbook for the Archdiocese. We have been updating our website. We have been planning for major upcoming events, including a Called By Name Discernment Dinner and ICYC (Indianapolis Catholic Youth Conference). While that sounds like a lot that has been going on, I guess it is considered a “slow” time of year because most of this work is planning, organizing, and preparing for things to come. The events and travel and presentations and seminary visits and discernment opportunities and vocations outreach programs that we are planning now will start coming to fruition later this fall.
So there’s a little insight into the behind-the-scenes workings of a vocations office. This coming week, I will travel to Long Island for the annual convention of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors (NCDVD). This week-long conference is a great chance to network and talk with other Vocation Directors around the country and learn some best-practices and new ideas for our ministry. If it’s anything like last year’s conference, I’ll return with a lot of new ideas for our work in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
I mentioned above a new logo for the Vocations Office – check it out below, and if you follow our ministry and materials, you’ll start to see it all over the place!