The Vocations Committee of the US Council of Serra International has a long-term goal of having a parish vocation ministry in every parish in the United States. In collaboration with the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors, the Serra Vocation Committee offers free workshops for Vocation Directors in their dioceses. The purpose of the workshops is to educate attendees on the best way to: set up a Parish Vocation Ministry; incorporate Serran programs into their vocation work; and utilize Serra SPARK.
Parishes that participate in the workshop have an opportunity to learn about Serra SPARK tools that they can use immediately to foster and affirm vocations. Information is provided about Parish Vocation Ministries – their purpose, functions, and structure. Practical data about forming a Parish Vocation Ministry — that is, the reasons, organization, membership, publicity, and a first meeting to-do list, are included in the day-long session. Discussions about the responsibilities of a Parish Vocation Ministry include how to operate in the parish, craft a Mission Statement, write goals, objectives, and action items, and create a strategic plan. In order to ensure that the program continues, parishes will receive ideas on how to keep your Parish Vocation Ministry functioning. Finally, the workshop presenters will talk about sustaining the Parish Vocation Ministry and how to get the help the parish needs from Serra.
A unique feature of this Parish Vocation Ministry workshop is the built-in success factor! Parishes that attend the workshop will be paired with a Serran who will mentor the parish for one year. This Serran will contact the club monthly to offer support, advice, and to serve as a sounding board for the parish ministry. In addition, quarterly reports will be sent to the diocesan vocation director so that they can track the vocation initiatives in the parishes in their diocese.