This blog is part of our #WhatsNext series for former volunteers, inspired by the What’s Next Notebook resource from Catholic Volunteer Network and Catholic Apostolate Center. In each blog, we will explore helpful tips for looking back on your volunteer experience, saying goodbye, determining your next steps, and sustaining your spiritual growth during the transition to “life after volunteering.”
“Discovering my vocation does not mean scrambling towards some prize just beyond my reach, but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice out there calling me to something I am not. It comes from a voice in here calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given to me at birth by God.” – Thomas Merton
Reminder: Looking for more information about vocations? Be sure to check out the wealth of resources compiled by Catholic Apostolate Center by clicking HERE.
Some people go into volunteer ministry thinking that it will be a first, experimental step toward a religious vocation or the diocesan priesthood. Others, who originally had no such intentions, leave realizing the same thing.
There are many structures set up to assist you in finding out if a religious vocation or the diocesan priesthood is for you. Your most basic resource is your diocesan Vocations Office, or the diocese that you may be interested in serving in. Your Vocations Office has all the resources you need to be in touch with religious communities outside the diocese as well. Vocations Offices may host meetings for men and women discerning their vocation.
Every religious community has a Director of Vocations. If you know which community you are interested in, this is the person to be in touch with. Any member of the community can give you this individual’s name and contact information. Vocation Directors are just as interested as you are in discerning which life God is calling you to – no matter what that life is.
There are several websites that provide information on vocations and listening to your calling.
- The National Religious Vocation Network produces the annual guide, Vision. Visit their website http://www.vocationnetwork.org in order to see the latest edition.
- Catholics on Call seeks to support young adults in discerning their call to lay and ordained service to the Church. Visit their website for resources and more information at http://www.catholicsoncall.org.
- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also has a section of their website dedicated to vocations: https://www.usccb.org/committees/clergy-consecrated-life-vocations/vocations.
Catholic Apostolate Center also hosts several podcast episodes dedicated to vocation:
- Discerning God’s Calling – What is Vocation?
- What Now? Vocational Discernment and Accompaniment After the 2018 Synod
- On Mission Podcast – Discernment
- Vocation and Discernment – Vocational Discernment
- Discernment – Family Support
Thank you for diving into our #WhatsNext series! Next week, we will explore the theme of Staying Connected, in which we will explore how to live out the pillars of Community, Spirituality, Simple Living, and Social Justice post-volunteering.
Be sure to register and receive all our resources for former volunteers, including the What’s Next Notebook and our Weekly Job Bank, by clicking here!