09/05/2019 | 51:52
?29. Helping Hispanic Young Adults Discern their Vocations
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Patti Gutierrez Brittany García Show Notes patticc.com/29
Notas del Programa patticc.com/s29
Brittany García from the Diocese of Knoxville shares about a retreat to help Hispanic young adults discern their vocation.
Recommended Resources: Claretian Missionaries
Catholic Translation Services by Patti’s Catholic Corner
eBook on Hispanic Culture – are you a Catholic leader who wants to reach the Hispanic community but you aren’t very familiar with Hispanic culture? You don’t want to miss Patti’s eBook: 5 Cultural Differences you need to Know to Succeed in Hispanic Ministry
Resources from Brittany for Vocation Discernment Retreat
Outline of the retreat including the 5 main talks, schedule, activities, etc.
Handout – Cómo Aprovechar el Silencio [How to use the time of silence well]
50 Ways to Talk to God – English Spanish
Video of the Fiat song the participants wrote
El Examen Diario [Daily Examen]
Service project: Cookies Instructions Soup Instructions
Cajita de Recuerdos [Remembrance Box]
Letanías de Humildad [Litany of Humility]
Scripture quotes – Mi identidad en Cristo [My Identity in Christ]
Oración diaria para descubrir mi vocación [Daily prayer to discover my vocation]
Heart’s Home Catholic Mission organization where Brittany served in Ecuador
Other resources related to Vocational Discernment
Vocations Placement: Test your calling, Ministry Potential Discerner, live-in retreat & other resources to help you discern
?Vision: Vocation Match, Community Search & resources to help you discern
CMSWR App to discover more about religious communities who are members of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious.
Other resources related to Youth & Young Adult Ministry
McGrath Institute for Church Life @ Notre Dame University – Echo Graduate Service Program (the internship program Brittany mentions)
National Dialogue of Pastoral Ministry with Youth and Young Adults – tool to engage young people in conversation; help continue the conversation from the V Encuentro and the Synod on Youth
Voice + Vision Conference – July 31 – August 2, 2019 – The National Summit for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults (This summit is co-sponsored by Franciscan University of Steubenville and the National Dialogue of Pastoral Ministry with Youth and Young Adults.)
2018 Synod on Youth
2019 World Youth Day – “May it be done to me according to your word”
Other Gente Puente episodes related to youth & young adult Ministry & Pastoral de Conjunto
Introduction Greetings Gente Puente! In today’s show, Brittany García from the Diocese of Knoxville shares about a retreat to help Hispanic young adults discern their vocation.
They really understood Mary as an example for all of us on how to say yes to the Lord’s will even when we do not have all the answers. Saying yes but not having all the answers on how this really will all play out is really good example for all of us when the Lord is calling us to be brave to say yes trusting in His goodness that He will show us the way when the time comes.
Brittany García This episode is sponsored by the Vocations Office of the Claretian Missionaries of the United States. You can find a transcript of this episode and links to information about our sponsor and all the resources mentioned in today’s episode at patticc.com/29. Si prefieres español puedes encontrar un resumen en español de la entrevista sobre cómo ayudar a los jóvenes a discernir su vocación y vínculos a todos los recursos mencionados en patticc.com/s29.
I am Patti Gutiérrez from Patti’s Catholic Corner. Our team serves Catholic ministers like you who want to connect with the Hispanic community. We make your ministry easier by sharing best practices, resources and encouragement through this Gente Puente Podcast and our Facebook group. And we help you focus on your ministry through our Catholic translation services. Get a quote today at patticc.com/services.
Brittany García is the Director of Hispanic Youth & Young Adult Ministry called Pastoral Juvenil in the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee. For those who listened to the intro episode of the Gente Puente podcast & know some about my background, you’ll noticewhen she shares about her background that we have a lot in common! We had no idea until we started preparing for the interview. Like me, she is also not of Hispanic origin, served as missionary in Ecuador after college, was then invited into ministry by her Bishop and married a man from Mexico. It’s like we’re living parallel lives! In her current role as Diocesan Director of Pastoral Juvenil she developed a retreat to help young adults discern their vocations together with an intern she mentors and during this interview she shares all about it! It was a very successful retreat, especially with Hispanic young adults, and it can easily be adapted to your local reality. And in true gente puente style she is generously giving away all the incredible resources she put together so you don’t have to start from scratch! In the Show Notes you can find her outline of each talk, schedule, handouts & even down to decoration ideas! After you listen to the interview check out all her resources in the Show Notes at patticc.com/29!
Let’s dive into my conversation with Brittany García!
Welcome, Brittany. Thanks for coming on the Gente Puente Podcast!
Thank you so much. Thanks for having me, Patti.
Brittany, I really appreciate you taking the time to come and talk to us. But before we dive in to the retreat you are going to share, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, your vocation, and your ministry?
Yes, of course. I’ll be happy to share. My name is Brittany García. García through marriage, not as my maiden name. My maiden name was Koepke, which is of German descent; and I have Cherokee, German, and English blood in me. Spanish is my second language and also second culture. I’ve been married for a little over a year now to a wonderful man. His name is Pedro García, originally from Michoacán, Mexico. I grew up Protestant; it’s a fun fact. I’ve been Catholic for 6 years now, and it was the best decision of my life to come home to the Roman Catholic Church. My background growing up was Evangelical Christian. Now I find myself in working in Pastoral Juvenil, as a Coordinator. I work in the Diocese of Knoxville. It was mostly by invitation. Our bishop is a very down to earth pastoral bishop, who knows his sheep well. He had invited me to consider taking on this position after I came back from a 14-months mission in Ecuador. I was a Catholic missionary over there, serving in La Isla Trinitaria. When I came back from that mission, he said: “Hey, you are back! We are glad to have you in our diocese. Would you consider continuing your mission, but here in your own diocese in this particular way?” I’ve been working in the Diocese of Knoxville for about 3 and half years now.
Nice. Thank you. Are you from there, Knoxville, originally?
Yes. I am originally from Knoxville. Born and raise.
Can you give us an overview of the Fiat retreat that you did, and who was it for? How did it go?
Last year in April and May, we piloted and invented a retreat. I have a co-worker who is an Echo apprentice through the Notre Dame McGrath Institute. She serves here in our Diocese mainly focusing in Young Adult ministries. We partnered together. I serve as her mentor, and for her program, we meet together weekly. So we really wanted to do something in response to the Synod that was taking about young people’s discernment and vocations and also World’s Youth Day who also had this Marian theme of “May it be done unto to me according to your word”. Fiat in itself is referring to Mary’s yes to the Lord: “Hágase en mi según tu palabra.” We really wanted to offer something to young adults to participate in what was happening in a nationally and universal level with this theme of vocation and discernment. We developed the Fiat retreat, and it was for young adults. We offered one for Pastoral Juvenil in Spanish, and one for Young Adults ministry in English. This Fiat retreat we organized around the stories of the Visitation and the Annunciation. Luke 1:26-56 was our guiding principle for this retreat, and we broke up the 5 main talks based on Mary’s experience as she said yes to the Lord. The first talk was Realize, and it focused on identity. Who we are as sons and daughters of Christ, our deepest identity. The second talk we focused on listening; like after the Angel Gabriel told Mary who she was going to conceive in her womb, and she said: “May it be done to me according to thy word.” She took it to prayer. She was really listening to the words of the Angel, so we talk about the importance of personal prayer in sacramental life and discovering your vocation. Then, we went on to understand; understand what does this mean? So after Mary heard these words of the Angel, contemplated them, she discerned: “What could this mean for me? How do I live out what the Lord is asking of me?” We focus the third talk on discernment. How do you discern well? Hit on some St. Ignatius spirituality and some tips we heard from Fr. Mike Schmitz on how not to miss your vocation by living in a state of grace, doing your daily duties, praying every day. Those kinds of things. The fourth talk was focused on the Visitation. Now Mary takes action. She has heard, prayed, discerned, and now she does something. She goes to serve her cousin Elizabeth. We talk about the importance of not just staying in that discernment phase, but really taking a step forward. Take one step forward and the Lord will continue to reveal His will little by little as He did with Mary. The fifth talk was Proclaim, so we focused on the Magnificat. Mary’s vocation was her path to holiness. Mary was already holy, but she exemplifies for us how your vocation is meant to lead you to holiness but also to happiness. She is singing a very joyful praise to our God for all the wonders He’s done in her life. Likewise, how can we radiate that love of the Lord in our lives in our vocations and the things that He calls us to do? That last part really focuses on that no matter where you are in your vocational journey, how can you proclaim the Lord with your life and sing a song to Him in the way you are living your life?
That’s just a really rough overview on how we broke up the retreat focusing on the vocational theme.
It sounds great! Let me ask a few questions that came to mind. Who did you say the retreat was for? What ages?
It was for young adults, 18 and up. Most of the participants were 18 up to mid-30s, but the majority were in their 20s.
And specifically for single people who are still discerning their vocation?
Yes, specifically for single, young adults.
Did you say that you did two separate retreats: one in English and one in Spanish? Or were they combined and split by language? How did that work?
We did two separate ones. In April we did the one in Spanish because it was an entire weekend. We started on Friday night and ended on Sunday at 3:00 o’clock with a closing Mass. Because it was an entire weekend and so many talks and activities, it would have been too much to go back and forth translating. We just decided to have two separate full weekends. In May, we offered a similar retreat in English, modifying a few things to meet the different needs of the culture and the community we were serving. We modified it a bit but held the general themes.
Thank you. So you said you based everything off the Gospel, and then did you say that the part that you shared from Fr. Mike was videos, or how did you say?
Not so much videos, but it was more in our talks. We mentioned him in our points. It was something we got from a video from him but used it in a topic.
Ok. So just concepts that came from Fr. Mike, gotcha. Are there any other resources that you found helpful as you were building the retreat?
Yes. We had a time for silence. We had about an hour and half, so we had a whole table for these young adults on how to use this hour and half well. As you know, a lot of young adults are not very familiar with silence anymore. This was really a protected time that we wanted to offer them to just be with the Lord. We are talking about vocation, we are talking about His will for our lives, we are talking about prayer; so let’s actually spend sometime talking with Him and getting off what is on your chest. Getting off what’s on your mind, your struggles regarding this topic, or anything that is weighing you down from being able to enter deeply into this time of reflection and pray about what God might want for your life. So we offered this hour and a half, but gave some resources on how to use that time well. One of my favorites was the “50 Ways to Pray,” written by a blogger. It is only in English, so I translated about 25 ways to pray in Spanish. That was a resource of creative ways to pray and use this time by writing a letter to God or going out in nature. We also had some Saints’ cards that they could pray. We had confession going on at that time. We had other resources, such as a reflection by Mother Theresa on silence. We had outdoor Stations of the Cross, and booklets there for that. Just a whole of different resources we put out on this table giving them plenty of ideas on how to use this time well; personally, engaging with the Lord in prayer. We also had art out, so that they could color. It was coloring with the Psalms. We tried to provide a lot of different ways for the vast variety of spirituality that different young people have.
That’s a great idea! Would you say that the retreat had the impact that you were hoping for? Can you share with us a little bit about the success that you saw?
Yes. I think we were really happy with how it all turned out. Specially at the Pastoral Juvenil Spanish retreat, we had a lot more interest in numbers, and also a lot more guys. We had mostly males at that one; like 75% male. That was also surprising. We saw a lot of young people really searching. We had from the Pastoral Juvenil, 3 young adults that were actively discerning their vocation of religious life for the priesthood in a very serious way by taking active steps that we talked about: to meet with his spiritual director, or to meet with the priest in charge of vocations in our diocese. Some young ladies, who decided to visit convents. That was the fruits that I saw that I was really thankful for that they took it to heart. Also, some young people who were not living a life that was going to lead them to marriage that it was actually hurting their future marriage by the way they were dating, or the hook-up culture was offering to them. So we also saw some conversions of hearts for young people who confessed they were living like this, but made a change after the Fiat retreat. Again, another beautiful fruit that hopefully will play out in their future marriage and in the future relationships with their boyfriends and girlfriends.
We will return to my interview with Brittany in a moment, but first I wanted to tell you more about the sponsor of this episode the Claretian Missionaries. If you are helping young people discern their vocation it’s always helpful to have information about great religious communities where you can direct them. If you know of a young man between the ages of 18 and 40 who is on fire with God’s love and wants to spread that love wherever he goes, I hope you will consider suggesting he check out the Claretian Missionaries. They are a Congregation founded in Spain in 1849 by St. Anthony Mary Claret and they currently serve in over 70 countries with about 3,000 priests and brothers bringing the Good News to the people who need it the most, using all means necessary. You can check out more about the Province of the United States and Canada at myclaret.org. There’s even a quiz that a young man can take to see if the Claretians are a good fit for him. Then he can enter accompaniment where one of the two bilingual Vocation Directors will take time to walk with him and help him discern his vocation further to figure out if the Claretians really are a good fit or help him look for the community that is a better fit. Head over to myclaret.org to find out more!
Now let’s return to my conversation with Brittany.
Do you know these individuals and that’s how you know that? Or is there some kind of follow-up that you had some kind of seguimiento?
I know all of them from the parish groups; the Pastoral Juvenil groups. We did have a couple of new people who I hadn’t met come, but hopefully the majority of them have gotten plugged in and gotten involve with Pastoral Juvenil groups. I’m able to follow up with them in other events that we offer, or when I visit their parishes’ Pastoral Juvenil groups. There are personal conversations that they’ve had with me. We have not had a particular follow-up with just the Fiat retreat, but rather follow up events, different pilgrimages, other retreats, and other activities that they are able to join in.
Great. You had mentioned that you were willing to share some of the things that you developed for this retreat for others that might be interested in having one similar?
Yes, I can share the general outline that we have created and developed for the retreat in hopes that it can be useful to someone else. It is very adaptable. The one important message is to guide young people of what is a vocation. We talk a lot about it, but a vocation with a capital “V” in the sense that it requires a covenant with God. Something that is different than a job in that you can not just quit it. Rather when you enter into a covenant with the Lord through the Sacrament of Matrimony or as a religious sister in a community who is taking final vows or a priest, it is not something that when the going gets tough you are able to just leave. Once you know your vocation capital “V” style, that is your path to holiness in the way of being faithful to it. I think that these themes are really important to cover, but how a diocese or a parish decides to do that is very adaptable. I do think there is a lot of confusion out there for example what is the difference between a religious sister and a nun. The difference of a cloistered vocation vs. being active in the world. Or between a monk and a friar in the same way. Knowing what all the different paths are is helpful for one being able to discern them. For example, at this retreat we brought in a religious sister from our diocese to give a talk. We had a priest friar with us. We had on Skype a lay consecrated that was able to share her journey and her vocation as a consecrated woman to the Lord, but living as a missionary and celibate for the kingdom. We tried to incorporate faces of people living beautifully their vocations. We had a vocation’s panel, such as a married couple, a sister and a priest that came in that talked about their joys and trials of their vocations. It is very important to help these young people, these young adults, to put faces to the names of certain vocations and to have the space to ask questions. It is really important for them to be able to choose for themselves, or take it all in, and see what attracts their soul. Attracts their person, what is moving within them.
That is really beautiful. Remind me what you said about the colleague that developed this with you? What is her role exactly?
She’s an apprentice, an Echo apprentice. The name of the program is Echo, and it’s through the University of Notre Dame. We have 3 in our Diocese. The other two are in a parish helping out, and she is on the Diocesan level. They’ll assign a mentor to each Echo apprentice, and that’s our relationship mentor-apprentice. Her first year we did ministry more closely together. The second year it’s meant to be more divide and conquer, so her focus has been Young Adults Ministry the second year of her 2-year commitment to the program. It is also part of their Master’s program to get a Master in Theology.
That’s a neat program. So you and the apprentice created the outline and the 5 talks based on Luke’s Gospel, then did you divide them amongst the people you described from the different vocations? Or did the two of you give the main talks and those panel from the different vocations was a separate item? How did that work?
Great question. We had an outline for each of the talks already to help with the flow of the retreat and also to have in mind where we wanted the different speakers to take the talk. We gave them a paragraph of important topics to hit in their hour long talk or 45 minutes talk. We did invite different speakers showing a wide range of different vocations to give the different talks. We also contributed with one of the talks. We were helping with the different activities, so that they wouldn’t only hear our voices but rather the voices of other people and vocations.
Yes, that makes sense. You already shared many of these things, but is there anything else that you haven’t said you think was one of the contributing factors to the success? Something that really helped it have such an impact?
I also think that the community that was formed, particularly speaking of the Pastoral Juvenil retreat that we did, there wasn’t a retreat offered for young adults in Spanish in our Diocese. This was the first ever retreat. There have been lots of events and activities, but no retreat in our Diocese. The fact that they were able to come together, they really jelled over the course of the weekend. Some of the fruits of that experience together was that they created a song that on the last day, they sang it in front of everyone. There was a small group of them that stayed up late one night creating a song of praise basically that said: “quiero dar el Fiat con el sí de María” (I want to give my Fiat with the yes that Mary gave). 1.) It showed that they really understood what fiat was. 2) They really understood Mary as an example for all of us on how to say yes to the Lord’s will even when we do not have all the answers. Saying yes but not having all the answers on how this really will all play out is really good example for all of us when the Lord is calling us to be brave to say yes trusting in His goodness that He will show us the way when the time comes. Anyway, I think that was one of the reasons of community being formed gave space for them to fill comfortable to ask questions, to be together, and hopefully continue to have that accountability to call each other on forward in their vocations as they got to know each other so well that weekend in hopes that those friendships will continue.
Yes, for sure. Is there anything that you learned that you would change for the future? Or that you would give advice to someone else that will try a similar retreat?
Again, the most important thing is to involve a variety of speakers that can speak to different vocations that they are living. That would be my biggest advice. It was one of the most helpful parts of the retreat that they got to see faces of people living it out.
Sounds like an incredible experience. Is there anything else related to the retreat that you wanted to share?
No. I think that creating a retreat purely focusing on saying yes to the Lord’s will and not necessarily entering your vocation tomorrow, but rather practicing saying yes to Him every day in what He calls us to do through the 10 Commandments or through the Beatitudes is a practice for saying yes to Him one day in a bigger way. I think that is something really important for young people to begin to live out, especially in a generation that has a lot of fear of commitment. Fear of marriage that might fail from seeing so much hurt from families that they grow up with, or things that didn’t work out in their families. There’s a lot of fear, and so having time to talk about the joys and the blessings seeing a picture of the love that the Lord calls us to, a picture of a hope that can be, and happiness and holiness and striving for that knowing that it will not be perfect. It is a goal that we are all called to, a vocation we are all called to and that is of love. If there anyway that in the parishes or dioceses, youth ministers can implement something in regard to vocation and talking about what it is and what it is not. Also exposing them to different vocational options they can begin to discern. We also realized that on these retreats that a lot of young people that participated have had years of doubt, questions unanswered regarding vocations of what the Lord wants them to do in their lives. Giving them space to ask questions, or teach them how to discern. How do you know that this thing that you want is from the Lord or not, and how to take a step forward? A lot of young people are really confused about how to even know it is God really telling them to do something or not. Discernment is a huge topic.
Well, thank you very much. It sounds like it was an incredibly experience and I’m sure it helped the young people that were there to find their vocations or at least to start making steps towards that. I’m sure that a lot of people will be able to use that example, and you have all kinds of wonderful ideas for how to implement this, so thank you for sharing them and be willing to share with the listeners resources that you’ve developed.
I want to ask about your ministry more in general. One of the goals on the Gente Puente Podcast is to create community, encouragement for each other, and finding ways to support each other. So I wanted to ask you know that you have been in ministry, even though it wasn’t your career goal, you were called into ministry by your bishop. What would you say it is something that you’ve learned being a leader in ministry that you can share with other leaders?
I think that when I first started out I was truly trying to give it my all, and I’m still trying to give it my all. But one big change that has shifted is in going out in ministry 100% and giving it your all, there’s a lot of insecurities that surface especially in a diocesan level. Just that sense of overwhelming of: “Am I doing enough? Am I doing it right?” There are so many young people, and thinking how can I do it better? Rehashing and reliving an event. I big growing point in me, especially as a young leader, was to learn to do everything with love, and if I do it with love, it won’t be in vain because even the smallest little things you can offer for love[JE1] . Giving the rest to the Lords’ hands. Really learning the difference between being His instrument, rather than trying to fill the shoes of Him in every way. I think that was a huge lesson, and it also helped a lot with stress. When you no longer feel it is all dependent on you, but rather I offer the little I can; I offer the much I can give as well. Here is what I offer, Lord, and then He fills in the gasps and to just rest that in His hands. That for me has been a game changer at least for my perspective in attitude and peace in regard being a leader in ministry.
Perfect. Thank you. Before I let you go and we wrap up, could you give some words of encouragement for a minister who might be listening that maybe has hit a wall or is feeling discouraged or burnt out. What would you say to them?
For someone who is feeling discouraged or burnt out, I would say make sure to take it to the Lord, to make time for yourself and your personal life. If you are living as a single person, to make time with friends. If you are living a vocation in marriage, to make sure you are having enough time with your family. In the moments that I found I was really stressed or burning out, it was because I wasn’t making enough time for personal relationships that feed me and also prayer, which also of course feeds my soul. Going back to the fountain from which all good things flow, the one that refreshes our soul that you are having enough time in prayer with Him. And also, to know that you are not alone. I think every person that has served in ministry has at some point felt that they couldn’t do it any more or just burnt out, or that it is too much and that they are alone. Just know that you are not. Look for those people around you who can be that source of encouragement on a day-to-day or weekly basis, a safe place where you can vent frustration or ask for solutions. Build a support system around you, and not feel guilty for doing that, but feel empowered that you need that and is very human. Ministry is no different in that regard. We still need support. That would be my advice. There will be people that make you think it’s never good enough or never enough. Just know that in the eyes of the Lord, how He sees you and the deep love that He has for you, remind yourself of that every day.
Amen. Thank you. Will you close with a prayer for all of those who serve the Church?
Yes. I’ll be happy to.
If it’s okay, I’d like to close with a prayer from Mother Theresa. It is one of my favorites.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Often others are unreasonable, illogical and selfish; Forgive them, anyway.
If you are kind, perhaps others accuse you of having selfish motives; Be kind anyway.
If you succeed, you will win some false friends and some real enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, others may fool you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What takes years to build, someone can destroy it overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, others may feel jealousy; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, often others will forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and maybe it will never be enough; Give the world the best you have anyway.
In the end, everything is between you and God; It’s never been between you and them, anyway.
(Source: The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith)
Heavenly Father, I thank you so much for this time.
I thank you for the ministry that Patti offers through this podcast, and I pray for all the listeners. Lord, you know their needs, all their individual needs. And I ask that you pour your grace over them, and comfort them in their times of trial, and in their times of joy, may their cup overflow.
I pray, Lord, for all the young people that we serve that your message of hope, truth, and love can reach their hearts. I pray that we can be instruments to guide them on your path, and also guide them to be able to say yes to you when you call.
In your name we pray. Amen.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Thank you, Brittany, and thank you for taking the time to share with us your expertise and experience. It was a pleasure.
Thank you, Patti.
What an awesome interview! Here are some of the key takeaways for me:
Start with the basics. I love how the talks that they developed are deep enough that they can help anyone to go deeper in their vocational discernment while at the same time they covered the very basics of our identity as sons and daughters, descriptions of the different vocations, what is discernment and how to discern well and providing opportunities to hear about how people are living out their path to holiness in the different vocations. Sometimes our discernment programs are geared toward people who are further down the road of discernment, but there are so many young people who need this first step of exploring the concept of vocation and discernment in general first. That’s why I think this retreat would be so good for other diocesan offices or even parish young adult ministries to provide for their young people. Or several religious communities could even come together to host a retreat like this. Don’t forget you can find outlines of all the talks in the Show Notes at patticc.com/29.
Incorporate Prayer and Silence. Of course, prayer is an essential piece of discerning God’s call for your life. It’s important to teach young people how to pray and give them a chance to actually experience it. I especially love the idea of a table of ideas of how to use the time of silence effectively. She gave such a variety of styles and inspiration! Most young people don’t have much experience with silence so I am sure that element of the retreat is a resource that they will return to over and over in their lives! Remember you can find her suggestions & handouts for this time of silence in the Show Notes at patticc.com/29.
Involve others. As you know if you’ve been listening to this podcast, as gente puente we are really big fans of pastoral de conjunto, a style of ministry that brings people together to share their diversity of gifts in communion. Brittany and her intern did a lot of the work of designing this retreat, but then they invited in a diverse group of speakers and panelists to each share their gifts and perspectives, even using technology to connect some that couldn’t be there in person. I know this helped the young people get a much better sense of what it is like to live out the different vocations.
Our vocation is our path to holiness. In a society that discourages commitment in favor of keeping options open, the idea of choosing a vocation for the rest of your life can seem daunting or confusing for some young people. Many confuse vocational discernment with deciding what their career will be, as if religious life for example is just one of many career paths to choose from. I love the emphasis that Brittany puts on our vocation as our path to happiness and holiness and teaching the young people that once they have found that call, the way to become holy is to be faithful to that vocation. And this is best modeled by the sharing she described from people who are actually living each vocation who can share the joys and struggles of that faithfulness and giving young people a chance to ask questions.
You are God’s instrument; you are not God. I think all of us at some point in ministry step back and realize that we are trying to be God instead of serve God. We are trying to do everything and be everything to everyone and of course failing at it. Those who persevere in ministry, and do it well, come to learn like Brittany described that we are called to be God’s instrument, we need to stay close to him in prayer, offer what we can in love and being faithful to his call, and then let God do the rest. St. Anthony Claret can give us some guidance here too. In his Autobiography he said: “I took great care and worked energetically, as if everything depended on my work and, at the same time, I put all my trust in God because everything really does depend on Him.” (Aut 274). Again, don’t forget to check out the Claretian Missionaries at myclaret.org to find out more about them and to share their quiz with young men who may be called to their missionary vocation.
I hope you found my interview with Brittany inspiring and helpful for your ministry too! Please consider sharing it with other Catholic leaders you know who want to help young people find their vocation. Make sure to visit the Show Notes page to find all the great resources we mentioned at patticc.com/29.
The next two episodes will explore the idea of what it means to be “gente puente.” I’d love to hear what you think of when you hear that phrase and whether you feel that you are gente puente. Just come join our Facebook group for Catholic ministers to join the conversation! Look for the learning unit called Introduction to Gente Puente. We would love for you to join our online community of Catholic ministers who want to encourage one another and share resources that we have found helpful in our ministry. Come check it out at www.facebook.com/groups/gentepuente today!
And of course, don’t forget to subscribe to the Gente Puente podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss any future episode!
Thanks for listening today. May God bless you and your ministry as gente puente!
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Bienvendi@ al Despertar Espiritual y la Expansion de tu Conciencia. Guio tu proceso de Sanacion Personal y Espiritual Life Coach Patricia Vidarte www.MiPortalDiamante.com Montevideo - Uruguay