Vocation event is planned for June 25

By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor

The Archdiocese of Louisville’s Vocation Office wants Catholics to understand that all people should consider how God is calling them to live their lives.

Rev. Jeffrey Shooner Vicar for Priests

Rev. Jeffrey Shooner
Director of Vocations

When the church embraces this idea — when each person actively discerns God’s call — the church will have a culture of vocations, said Father Jeffrey Shooner, director of the Vocation Office.

A program planned for June 25 at the Flaget Center, 1935 Lewiston Drive, aims at promoting such a culture. The program will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and all are encouraged to attend.

“I’d like to invite everyone, but especially parish staff, youth ministers, catechists, school teachers and anyone who gives of their time and talent to their church,” he said during an interview Monday. “I believe it will be an uplifting and encouraging experience for them that will equip them to create a culture of vocations in our archdiocese.

“We are most fulfilled as human beings when we are living out God’s call in our lives,” he added. “The more we are open to that the more people will be open to a call to priesthood or religious life as well.”

The program will feature a series of speakers who briefly will discuss the idea of a vocation from their own experiences.

Their talks will be modeled on the TED Talk format. But rather than focusing on TED — technology, entertainment and design — this program will be based on REV, Father Shooner’s brainchild, that stands for religion, evangelization and vocation.

The presentations are brief, personal and, rather than aimed at providing a lot of information, they aim to convey key concepts in an intimate and conversational way, he said. They also tap technology — the use of video, slides and photos controlled by an iPad — to make the presentations more stimulating.

“We hope the presenters will give the best presentation of their lives in 20 minutes or less,” he said. “We joke about that, but it conveys a level of energy, focus, intentionality and passion that we’re looking for.”

The presenters will include Benedictine Father Denis Robinson from St. Meinrad Archabbey. Father Robinson’s presentation will be the keynote address. He spoke at the annual Dinner with the Archbishop vocation dinner a couple of years ago and entertained adults and children alike with a humorous approach to vocations.

So far, the roster also includes Marcia Gilbert, a mother who has two children discerning religious vocations, and Benedictine Sister Kathy Cash, a young sister who will tell her vocation story.

The REV format has been used in a couple of other archdiocesan programs to “almost universally positive” reviews, said Father Shooner.

“We have been excited by the response to the first two REV events,” he said. “And we continue to be enthusiastic about this format — this opportunity for doing catechesis and continuing education in a new way.”

He noted that a great deal of time and energy are poured into the planning and execution of REV events. At the Archdiocesan Leadership Institute early in the spring, about 30 volunteers and staff worked together to make it happen. This event will be smaller, he said, but volunteers and staff will pour high amounts of energy and time into the effort.

The cost to attend the event is $10. Catechists can earn up to two hours credit for attending. To register, call Carrie Williamson in the vocation office at 636-0296 or send an email to her at cwilliamson@archlou.org.

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