Resources for Families

  • Discuss how God gives clues about what He wants people to do with their lives.  Use your own experience of the call to marriage and family life.  Did you ever consider religious life?  Did you ever consider remaining single?  Do you think that the example of spouses who make a lifetime commitment to each other can serve as a helpful example to young people considering a lifetime commitment to being a priest, religious brother or sister?
  • As a family, include a short vocations prayer when you pray before meals. For example, you could pray for current seminarians, for people preparing to be religious brothers or sisters, for deacons, or for young people figuring out what they might want to do with their lives. You also may want to read our seminarian biographies to see photos and short biographical information about the current seminarians preparing for ordination as priests for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and then pray for them by name.
  • Talk about positive experiences you have had with priests or sisters regarding things that inspired you. Do you remember the priest at your wedding? What about the priest who baptized your children? Was there a sister who taught academic lessons, but also taught about dedication to God when you attended a Catholic school? Did Mother Teresa's life among the poorest of the poor inspire you, even though you never met her personally?
  • Discuss your own vocation to family life, explaining that God calls some people to priesthood or religious life, some to marriage and some to life as single laypeople. You can talk about vocations firsthand.
  • Affirm the gifts and talents of your children, and help them relate their gifts to various career and life choices (including priesthood and religious life).
  • Use events going on in the world and in your children's lives to introduce the idea that each of us is called to live a holy life. What does that mean for a child who sees a classmate being teased to the point of tears on the playground? Does your teenager need encouragement to attend a week-long mission experience during the summer? Do your children understand that, as an adult, your faith has an impact on how you vote? The topic of the vocation to holiness is a great introduction to the idea that we make decisions as adults about vocations to ordained, married or single life as a layperson.
  • On the date of your child's baptism, talk about the life of the saint for whom the child is named. There is plenty of information about the background of saints on the Internet. The saints are people from all walks of life who tried to make a positive difference in the world; this is a goal as real today as it was for the saints.
  • Talk about your family’s ethnic or cultural heritage at supper, while driving in the car, or at some other time when family members are all together. Pass along memories of cultural aspects of holiday and other celebrations that you remember. If you do not currently use any customs from your ancestors, consider adding one or more to your calendar this year. As a family, you could ask grandparents or great-parents to help you, look on the Internet, or do some searching in the library for details on how to celebrate your family's heritage.
  • Ask your child to identify a talent which he or she has, and imagine together what work or ministry God might want someone to do with that type of talent. Also, talk about what good things can be done with the talent right now. For instance, singing talent could be used to sing a baby brother or sister to sleep. Talent at soccer could be used to help someone on the team who needs extra practice.

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