For Teachers and Schools
In fifth grade, I started thinking about priesthood, but decided not to tell anyone. Word can get around, and I sure didn't hear any of my peers talking about becoming priests. Then, in seventh grade, my teacher called me aside and asked me if I had ever thought about priesthood? I denied everything. That same day, however, I went home and approached my dad, saying, "Can you believe what my teacher said to me today?"
If my dad had laughed or put me down or scowled when I told him, I think that would have been the end of it. Instead, my dad replied, "What do you think?" As the story turns out, I have now been a priest for over 25 years. Who knows if I would have had the courage if not for a teacher who saw some positive qualities in me and decided to get me thinking!
Fr. Bob Stiefvater, Former Vocations Director
Do any of your students have personal characteristics that may point to a call to priesthood?
Such qualities include:
Ability to relate well with adults and peers
Leadership in a spirit of collaborative teamwork that both affirms and challenges others.
Concern about issues such as justice and peace, and a desire to serve
A growing relationship with God
Courage to take a stand
Dependability and trustworthiness
Are there ways to help your students explore Church vocations among the many choices open to them?
Encourage students to explore opportunities for service: at school, at home and in the community.
Make vocations part of "career day" in your school or classroom and have vocations resources available.
Integrate vocations into various lessons. Use priests and sisters in math story problems.
Use vocation questions as journal topics.
Talk about how you made the connection between your talents and becoming a teacher. Share 'YOUR' story.
Vocation Lessons for K-12 Grades
What are Vocation Lessons?
Vocation Lessons is an online curriculum supplement for Catholic Schools, parish, religious education and youth ministry. It focuses on teaching students about the vocation to marriage, the priesthood and religious life, and also helps them listen for God's call in their lives.
There are no textbooks; the content is 100% online. However, you can print out PDFs of the lesson plans and worksheets, if desired.
100% online at VocationLessons.com
Works on Smart boards
Also includes printable PDFs
Online form for teachers to offer feedback on lessons
Ongoing updates and improvements
Family Feature can be emailed to parents
How Do I Access Vocation Lessons?
At VocationLessons.com, teachers have one access code and students have a different access code:
Teacher Access Code:
Student Access Code:
Teacher View vs. Student View
When you login using your teacher access code, then visit a lesson's web page, you will see all the teacher material and student material. When a student logs in using the student access code, he or she sees only the pertinent student material. Teachers can toggle between 'Teacher View' and 'Student View.' This is useful, for example, when displaying content for students on a computer or Smart Board.
Why is an Emphasis on Vocations Needed?
It's not just the number of priests that are in decline. Healthy vocations to marriage and religious life are also in crisis. Thus, we need to be more deliberate in teaching students about the beauty of each vocation and how to listen for God's call.
The material for grades K-5 is fun and creative. For example, the 1st grade curriculum includes a story called, 'Super Priest,' a light-hearted tale that shows the power of the priesthood.
For grades 6-8, the content deepens students' knowledge of all the vocations. It includes readings, videos and interactive activities to help students begin to listen for God's call.
The high school curriculum is academically challenging and includes numerous reading options. Students engage in role-playing activities, such as re-enacting the ordination rite in class.
How Much Class Time Does It Take?
For Catholic Schools
Vocation Lessons for grades K-12 takes up one week of religion classes. There are four lessons: marriage, the priesthood, religious life and discernment, plus an assessment and family feature.
For Parish Religous Education
Vocation Lessons offers one class per year for parish religious education, grades K-8. The lesson covers marriage, priesthood, religious life and discernment.
For Youth Ministry
For Youth Ministry, there are four meeting options, each covering all the vocations. This way, a ninth grader will cover all the material during his or her time in high school youth ministry.