WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 13, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In honor of National Vocation Awareness Week, the U.S. bishops' conference is offering a list of 10 ways to promote religious vocations.
Father David Toups, interim director of the conference's Office of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, prepared the list that was publicized today.
Among the suggestions are prayer, asking God in particular to send more priests and religious to the Church, and speaking to others about vocations.
Father Toups encouraged Catholics to reach out to young people, teaching them how to pray and inviting them to consider a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life.
"Make it attractive," he said. "Show the priesthood for what it truly is -- a call to be a spiritual father to the whole family of faith."
"Similarly," the priest continued, "the consecrated life for a young woman is a call to be united to Christ in a unique way, and to be a spiritual mother to those she encounters in her life and service."
Some of the recommendations were geared specifically to those who are considering a vocation.
The first step, Father Toups stated, is to practice the faith, to remember that "the whole point of our lives is to grow in a deep, intimate and loving relationship with God."
He wrote about the need to pursue silence, the "key to sanity and wholeness," the importance of living as disciples of Christ, and of asking God about his plans for each person.
The priest affirmed, "If, in fact, you are called to the priesthood or consecrated life, it will be the path to great joy and contentment."
The vocations awareness week began Sunday and will end Saturday.
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On the Net:
10 Ways to Promote Vocations: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-008.shtml