Monday, November 23, 2009

Vocation Week Highlights Priesthood

If you were wondering why its been terribly quiet around here, maybe this Press Release sent out this morning from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will help answer:

For the third year in a row, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Vocation Office has produced educational resources to be used by all Catholic grade schools, high schools, home school groups, parishes and family homes for the upcoming Vocation Awareness Week, January 10-16, 2010.

The materials for this year’s packet follow the theme “You are a priest forever,” from Psalm 110, and focus on the various aspects of the priesthood, including its origin, its importance, the role of the laity in relation to it and the various Catholic teachings surrounding its implementation and practice.

Additionally, “one of the goals in creating these materials is to encourage and help the average Catholic to grow in appreciation for the priests of the Archdiocese and the world,” says Wayne Topp, Associate Vocation Director. “It really is an all-inclusive program that has tackled as many aspects of the Catholic priesthood that we thought possible in one week’s worth of lesson plans.”

As in previous years, the office has produced lesson plans to cover just about every parish need, including pre-school, primary grades, intermediate grades, junior high and high school lesson plans, as well as young adult and adult faith formation discussion guides, a family faith formation document, youth ministry plans, a collection of prayers for priests, and tons of additional web-based resources. What is unique about this program compared to any other program that can be found on the web is the depth of catechesis and the way in which the information is presented to the teacher.

“Teachers, catechists, group leaders and youth ministers can easily print out the lesson plan and implement it as is or they can easily adapt it to fit their groups needs,” says Topp, who was in charge of coordinating this year’s efforts. Fr. Kyle Schnippel, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, is very satisfied with this year’s product as well. “We really put a lot of time and energy into making this program the best it could possibly be and we are proud of our results,” he says. He also mentions that while the focus of these materials is on the priesthood and the Year for Priests, the materials are not meant to be exclusively “for the boys.”

“By increasing the awareness among all Catholics of the nature of the priesthood and the sacrifice of following God’s will into the ministerial priesthood,” he says, “we also increase the awareness of the need to discern our own vocation and the absolute necessity in supporting one another as we courageously follow God’s will, especially into the priesthood and religious life.”

Both Fr. Schnippel and Mr. Topp encourage the wide use and distribution of these materials in parishes and schools so that all may come to a deeper appreciation for the priesthood in this Year for Priests. To access these materials, visit the Vocation Office website at and click on Vocation Awareness Week. If you do not have internet access and would like any of the materials for this year, call 513-421-3131 x2860.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 26th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics, and has the eighth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 218 parishes and 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools.


All Saints Academy said...

I will pass along to homeschoolers nationwide.

Alexander said...

Father, there are two more things I think can increase vocations in the long run; elimination of altar girls and a crack down on liturgical abuse.

There is plenty of liturgical abuse in this diocese and no one seems to care about it. It would be nice if something was actually done about it. Maybe there could some sort of collation of the faithful within every parish that could monitor and report liturgical abuse and then forceful measures taken from the archdiocesan office about it I think more reverent and more explicitly Catholic looking Masses would eventually take hold. The result of more traditional looking Masses would be an emphasis of the role of the priest. Instead of making him look like a mere presider over a communal gathering he would look and real sacramental minister offering a sacrifice to God.

Also encouraging boys to be servers can be a first step toward a vocational call in young men – the “training ground of the priesthood” is what they called altar serving after all.

Jason Buck said...

I thought this vocation plan might be of interest for you. I put it together about 2 years ago, but just published it.