Friday, October 01, 2010

An interview with a vocations director

   I thought this was interesting: an interview with the former vocations director of the Nashville Dominicans. Their final tally this year was 27 postulants (to see pictures, go here and click on Postulants 2010), so they know something about attracting women to religious life.  Here's an excerpt:

Sister Hopkins: The Dominican Sisters in Nashville understood that it wasn’t a matter of recruitment but of exposure.  As a vocation director, I made it a point always to respect the delicate interior struggle through which most people must pass. My job was not to make a good sales pitch, but to convey the beauty of our life and to expose young women to it through a visit or retreat experience. I had to help those who had the inclination, but struggled with uncertainty, realize that the simultaneous fear and attraction they felt was normal...

What our world needs is more Mother Teresas, people with zeal, humility and a fearless love. Over the past 20 years I have seen the numbers of women inquiring into the religious life grow both in numbers, quality and openness. Given the fact that our culture is not supportive of such ideas, nothing short of grace can explain it.

She talks about things we can do to promote vocations, but I'd agree with her that it comes back to God calling.  The relgious orders I've visited seem to understand that.  None of them tried to convince me that I was called to join them-- they just told me about themselves and let me see how they live.

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