Greetings from the Vocation Office. May this week which is dedicated to the International Day of Peace bring us together and support one another as people of many nations towards peace and reconciliation. As we know that the pandemic continues to cause significant uncertainty not only for us here in the USA but also for millions of people across the world, it also is making the work of our vocation promotion a very difficult task.
We are learning to see this situation as a challenge for our mission, though, and come up with creative ways of doing things. Since May 25, 2020, with the support of all of you, my dear Sisters, and the collaboration of our SVD brothers, we have been doing online vocation promotion through social media (Facebook, YouTube and Instagram). We hoped that by the end of summer we could go back to more familiar ways, but it seems that online meetings are now the “new normal”.
Our Discernment Retreat in June had to be cancelled even though 10 young women wanted to participate. The Summer Peace Camp where five young women wanted to join as volunteers and work with our Sisters in Rogers Park did not happen either. Then we had planned a Come & See program in August with five young women looking forward to this opportunity. Since visitors were not permitted, we decided to host these five young women in a ‘Virtual Come & See’. So on Aug 23, 2020 from 3 – 5 p.m. we were connected through ZOOM with these young women and our communities in Waukegan, Grayslake, Rogers Park and Techny. Each Community had an assignment to talk: Spirituality, Formation, Community Living and Mission. The participants were also treated to a tour around the Convent of the Holy Spirit and then could join Vespers there. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. From our point of view as Vocation Officers this event has exceeded our expectations. We are very happy with the response from both our participants and the Sisters. This event became a starting point for the many virtual events we have hosted since. We now also sponsor twice a month Bible Sharing for anyone who wants join. On September 20 we had Sr. Evelyn Lobo and Sr. Angelica Oyarzo share their vocational journey with one of the women. These talks are also recorded in YouTube. Next month, on October 18, Sr. Agathe Bramkamp will give a talk on ‘Discernment of Spirits’.
We are called to move beyond our comfort zone in working for the Kingdom of God. May our efforts be Spirit-filled and guided and give us wisdom in witnessing to God’s call. We are grateful for the support from all of you. Please pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who are considering a religious vocation, especially to our Congregation.
Sr. Aprilia Untarto, SSpS is a Holy Spirit Missionary Sister and the Vocations Director for the US Province. She is heavily involved in activities centered around engaging women to experience God and assists them in their vocation journey. To learn more about the Vocations Ministry and SSpS please click here.