Vocation Publicity

Jocelyn Thomas Features

NEW YORK — Several Holy Name Province parishes are finding creative ways to promote vocations. 

In Raleigh, N.C., a new scoreboard that will hang in the community center under construction at St. Francis of Assisi Parish shows the Web address of the Franciscan Vocation Office: BeAFranciscan.org

The center, to be dedicated in April, will be used for senior and youth programs, said Mark Reamer, OFM, pastor, who submitted a photo of the scoreboard, above. The funds for it were donated by the Raleigh friars as a way of both promoting vocations to the Province and supporting the GIFT (Growing In Faith Together) campaign, Mark said, adding that he came up with the idea of promoting the province during a building committee meeting, when the members were discussing which business to advertise. 

“I’m hopeful that the web address will attract young people including young adults who join in our parish evening sports league and encourage them to check out the site,” Mark said. He noted that several men in the Province’s formation program are from Raleigh as are two recently-professed friars.

In Tampa, Fla., a large sign outside Sacred Heart Church poses the following question to passers-by, “Day Shift? Night Shift? How about a Life Shift?” The 4-by-6-foot banner was designed by the Province’s Communications Office on the request of Sean O‘Brien, OFM, an HNP regional vocation director, who thought a customized version of the vocation ad originally used on the New York subway cars would attract attention at the downtown Tampa parish. Sean is shown in a picture behind the photo above next to the Life Shift sign.

tampa1These are examples of methods friars are using to do as vocation director Brian Smail, OFM, has recommended — to reach out to men who may be interested in Franciscan life. 

“I was very pleased that the parish in Tampa was making use of the advertisement in its vocation promotion efforts,” Brian said. “The more we make ourselves visible as friars and as a Province, the better chance we have to attract vocations.”

Recently, the Vocation Office mailed out a DVD to all pastors and guardians that contains vocation promotion materials, including the “Life Shift” advertisement. Brian said, “This ad can be used to create posters, but is also useful for parish bulletins, ministry newsletters and other publications. I hope that all of our ministries will make use of these materials.”

Later this month, Life Shift posters will be distributed by the Vocation Office to all Holy Name ministries. The posters were designed in both English and Spanish in a size convenient to post in church entrances, offices, and meeting rooms.

The Advent 2009 issue of Insight and Wisdom, the Vocation Office’s newsletter, will also be distributed this month. The issue includes reports on solemn profession and the postulant affiliation along with reflections on Advent and spiritual direction and dates of upcoming vocation weekends.