Vocation scouts: sharing the joy of life as Catholic sisters
by Amy Taylor, FSPA
Over the last few months, several FSPA inspired to share the joy of religious life with younger generations have picked up pens to write to women considering vocations. Asking the question invites exploration into a future they may not have considered before having someone personally encourage conversation. With prayers and intention in their hearts to reach out to such discerning women, Sisters Rita Mae Fischer, pictured below; top, and Fran Browning, pictured below; bottom, sat down to compose letters using materials from the Vocation Scout Toolkit (distributed to community members last year).
The future looms large for women faced with a plethora of decisions. While conversations about boyfriends and marriage are common in most families, encouragement of religious vocation is rare. Often, parental dreams of grandparenthood and fears of separation from their daughter create barriers to discussing vocations.
Vocation scouts facilitate learning about religious life. This happens through close contact with members of the family—sharing openly about their own family relationships and how they have maintained contact over the years.
Drawing on the wisdom of their lived experience of community life Sisters (pictured above from left to right: Bernadette Nehl, Margaret Wagner, Marian Massman, Clarone Brill, Gertrude Daugherty) were asked to take on the role of vocation scouts to young students seeking answers for school projects. Creative teachers seeking to encourage their students to think about religious life require them to write to convents, monasteries and diocesan offices. Projects range from simply requesting materials to read for the class to letters asking specific questions about life and ministry as a sister. These vocation scouts answer from their hearts about their own realities, providing insight into what may be mysterious to students.
One never knows; what started as a school project may blossom into discovering a call to religious life.