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Vocation Promotion - Challenges and proposals
In today’s scenario, because of erosion of family values and lower number of children, lack of study and job opportunities, there seems to be a decrease in number and quality of vocations. The Vocation Promotion Commission met to deliberate on three important agendas, viz., Challenges and Present situation of the Vocation Promotion, Suggestions to promote Vocation in our presences and New Proposals from the commission.
An important observation was that there was a decline of role models among priests and religious. There was an influence of secularism, misguided attractions and lack of motivation. There was a thinking that religious life was a profession and not a vocation. A competitive attitude seems to have cropped up among the religious congregations to get the vocations. There was a lack of concern for a global vision and mission of the Church.
It was suggested that parishioners, students and beneficiaries should be encouraged to support and recruit vocations to the priesthood and for a religious life. Vocation awareness should be developed through parish and school structures and the youth should be invited to interact with the parish priest for discussions about vocation. Vocation camps, similar to vacation Bible schools, should be held regularly. Salesians should be encouraged to preach on vocations.
New Proposals from the commission
The Commission has come out with three new proposals for the Vocation promotion. One proposal was to follow the present model of admission by recruiting the students after Xth and XIIth and above, giving them one year of English course before going to XIth (PTS) and before going to pre-Novitiate (PHS).
A second proposal was to admit the candidates immediately after Class 10. While English Medium (Matriculation) students can be admitted in Tirupattur, Tamil medium students can be admitted in Pannur.
The third proposal was to explore admitting the candidates after Class 8. This is reviving the old Aspirante model by getting students in 8th, 9th and 11th Std. If a student fails in any class, he can repeat the year in the same class like earlier.
The Vocation Promotion Commission which met on September 11, 2017 at The Citadel was headed by Fr. Desam Chinnapparaj, the Province Vocation Promoter and consisted of members - Fr. Joseph Fernandez, the Rector of the Missionary Aspirintate, Fr. Andrews Stephen Raj, Director of Vazhikatti and Bro. Arunraj Selladurai, the Administrator, The Citadel.