During National Vocation Awareness Week the Diocese of Green Bay hosted 8th graders for a Vocation Fair. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity were among the Priests, Seminarians, Religious, Secular Institutes and Consecrated Virgin invited to interact with the students from area Catholic Schools and Religious Education Programs. “Quo Vadis? Where are You Going” was the theme of the event offered on Wednesday and Thursday in partnership with the diocesan Office of Vocations and the Office of Catholic Schools.
Father Mark Mleziva, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Green Bay, was the master of ceremonies for the day. He began the first session with a definition of ‘vocation’. Students were coached throughout the day to remember that vocation is a ‘calling from God’. Each person was also reminded that all people are ‘called to holiness through the gift of our Baptism’.
Taylor Geiger, Diocese of Green Bay Vocation Coordinator, introduced Jonathan “Bearded” Blevins, Entrepreneur and CEO @lilflowermedia and Partnered Streamer on Twitch as the keynote speaker. After asking a number of questions, hot takes, to find out more about his audience, Johnathan went deeper into experiences from his own life that led to his serving the Catholic Church as a youth minister and his passion now for evangelization through the internet. Significant in his life have been other priests, religious and married couples who have responded to their own calls to holiness. Jonathan was a graduate of Silver Lake College (Holy Family College) sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. Photo: Grace Catholic School System
He offered “five things” to the students to help them follow God:
- Know who you are as a child of God.
- Go to Mass every Sunday.
- Go to confession.
- Take time in silence.
- Follow God’s path for your life.
The young people next rotated to sectionals which included the actual Vocation Fair and other faith sharing opportunities as well as lunch. Our own Sister Carol Seidl was one of the Sisters who was invited to share her call from God. She brought props to tell her story that has taken her to significant geographical places beyond her home of Luxemburg, Wisconsin. At our booth in the fair, our Franciscan Community distributed backpack compasses and ribbon bracelets with the photo above and this advice from St. Francis:
“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in His sight is who you are and nothing more.”
The last minutes of the day were spent in Eucharistic Adoration. Bishop David Ricken and Father Adam Bradley offered a guided mediation on prayer after which Benediction closed the day in prayers of blessing and song. We pray for the students that they may have the courage to respond courageously and generously to God’s call now and in the future.
“The journey is essential to the dream.” – St. Francis of Assisi
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