November 5th - Sr. Janice Marie Johnson
Director of the Diocesan Office for Ministry with Persons with Disabilities
January 14th - Fr. Eugene Ritz
Berks Catholic High School
Fr. Kevin Bobbin
Assistant Pastor at St. Ignatius and Chaplain of Reading Serra Club
Fr. Ritz spoke on the spirituality of the students as Berks Catholic High School
January 27th - Fr. Thomas Kuller, SJ
Fr. Kuller talked about his experiences as a Jesuit priest.
February 11th - Deacon Stephen Issac
Upbeat talk on fostering vocations to the priesthood.
Details to be added soon.
Outline of Deacon Stephan Isaac's Talk to the Reading Serra Club
Fostering Vocations in 2016
- Diocesan Aspirational Goals of Bishop Barres – Vocations goal of 15 to 45 seminarians (in 5 years I believe)
- How do we practically foster more vocations in the year 2016?
- There's no one silver bullet but only a multi-faceted approach that requires an all-hands on deck effort of Catholics (Clergy and laity)
- Personal Holiness – especially on behalf of priests! – Joyful, good, humble, holy priests filled with evangelical zeal and a missionary spirit.
- Prayer for Vocations – Especially Eucharistic Adoration in Parishes
- Teaching young people how to pray
- Parishes with Eucharistic Exposition have been shown to be fruitful in fostering vocations to the priesthood and religious life
- Effective Catechesis and Evangelization ordered towards discipleship – the more young men learn about their faith and appreciate it more, the more they tend to love it and the more they love it, the more they will want to serve the faith and the Church as priests.
- Catechesis and Evangelization should begin in families and parishes – Catholic schools and CCD programs have a critical role to play
- Effective and successful youth ministry
- Parents and families opening encouraging priestly vocations within the home
- Parish Vocations Committees – Actively promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life within the parish – identifying possible candidates to the priesthood in the parish and giving their names to the parish priests, diocesan vocation director, etc.
- Do the best that you can do with what you have and what you're able to do
- Personally ask and encourage young men to consider the priesthood - For example, "John, have you ever thought about the priesthood – Or Joe, I'd think you make a great priest."
- This personal encouragement and invitation to discernment goes such a long way!
- Priests preaching about vocations to the priesthood! And actively promoting the priesthood from the pulpit in homilies.
- Use of promotional materials – social media – For example, vocational pamphlets and "Fishers of Men" video helped me to discern.
- This isn't an exhaustive list but it's what came to my mind when I was preparing this talk.
- With God's grace, we do the best we can with what we have – do your best and forget the rest! All we can do is the best we can do.
February 25th - Fr. Brian Miller
Spoke on spirituality.