Call and Vocation Youth Session

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1 Call and Vocation Youth Session By Ann Marie Eckert Time: 90 minutes Session Objective To engage participants in thinking about how they have been called in their life and how that call is their vocation. This session will also explore the different vocational calls of marriage, priesthood, religious life and single life. Supplies and Preparation Nametags Handouts: o Priest, Prophet, and King one per participant o Reflection on Vocation one per participant (can be printed back to back) o Specific Vocations one per participant Pens one per participant Instrumental Music Prayer Table with Bible, candle, and cross. Session Plan 1. Welcome: (5 minutes) As participants arrive, make sure that they are greeted and welcomed. Provide nametags if the they don t know each other well. Introduce the session with these or similar words: Tonight we are going to think about vocations! Before you assume that we will be visited by a priest or sister to try to convince you to follow their path, let me assure you that each of us has a vocation to follow, and it is your own path that we want to concentrate on tonight. If some of you are considering becoming a priest, brother, or sister that is great. And if some of you are thinking that marriage is your vocation, that is great too. And some of you, no doubt, are just hoping to get through this school year and haven t gotten much further than that in planning out your life. Tonight we are going to look at the ways that God calls each of us within our lives. 2. Warm-up: (15 minutes) Invite the participants to gather in an open space. Designate a line on the floor that will divide the room in half. Participants will be asked to make a choice between two things. If they like both, they should choose the one they like more. If they like neither, they can stand on the line. Give the following instructions: p. 1

2 There are some people in the world who seem to know from an early age what they want to do with their life, but for most of us, we discover that more slowly, over time, by figuring out what we like and what we don t like. Tonight, I will give you two choices for something you could do with your life. You should choose the side of the room that you would most like. If neither option sounds appealing, you can stand in the middle. After you make your choices, I will ask a few of you why you like the choice you made or disliked the other choice. Point to the side of the room for each option to help them know where to stand, and after you present each option, ask a few people why they liked the one they chose or didn t like the other one. You can also ask people in the middle why they didn t like either. Would you rather Be a construction worker or a doctor Be a lawyer or a waiter/waitress Be a teacher or a musician Be a religious brother/sister or a dentist Be someone who works on a computer all day or a salesperson Be a social worker or a car salesperson Be a flight attendant or a college professor Be a little league baseball coach or a volunteer at the soup kitchen Teach religious education classes or lead a boy scout troop Work at a zoo with the animals or be a pilot Be a Director of Religious Education or the Mayor of our town Teach people to mountain climb or play the piano Be a parent or a grandparent Sing in the choir or paint a picture Work behind a desk or work with your hands Be a farmer or a mechanic (add additional ones based on some of the occupations of the participants families) Invite the participants to sit down on the floor for a minute and ask the following questions: How hard was it for you to make your choices? What were some of the reasons you chose one option over another? What did you hear from others? What are some categories of jobs you are not personally interested in? (Look for responses like working behind a desk or public speaking or I am not artistic. ) To conclude this activity, make the following points: Each of us is unique. Something that I love to do you may hate to do. How we decide to spend our lives the types of work we do, how we volunteer our time, what types of communities we join, etc. are all affected by our God-given gifts and our passions. As we talk about vocations tonight, I hope all of these forced choices that you just made will help you realize that there are a lot of things that you have interest in, and a lot of things you have no interest in. Each of these tells us something about ourselves. 3. Priest, Prophet, and King: (30 minutes) p. 2

3 Invite the participants to move back to the chairs. Provide the following information in your own words: All of us share in a common vocation as Christians. When each of us was baptized, these words were used while we were being signed with the Chrism oil God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people. He now anoints you with the chrism of salvation. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so may you live always as a member of his body, sharing everlasting life. Each of us shares the vocation of being Priest, Prophet, and King. What does that mean? Priest Just as a Catholic Priest makes Christ present in the world today, so too are we called to make Christ more present. We do that by being prayerful, spiritual people. We do this by helping others to pray and to see Christ working within us. Prophet Just as a prophet in the Old Testament spoke about God and shared the Truth of who God is, so too are we called to speak the truth about God with our words and our actions. We should strive to be Christ s hands, feet, and heart in the world today. King Often times we think of a king as wearing a crown and living in a palace, and although that is often true, the king was also responsible for the people in his kingdom. In days of old, it was his job to protect and care for them. As kings ourselves, we too are responsible for paying attention to the needs of others, for leading others and for being a Christian witness in all areas of our lives our homes, schools, sports teams, friends, etc. Invite the participants to gathering in groups of 6-8, with an adult leader if possible. Distribute the handout entitled Priest, Prophet, and King to each person and assign each of the groups either Priest, Prophet or King. Invite them to create a skit that demonstrates ways that they can be a priest, prophet or king in their own lives. Give them only about 15 minutes to prepare and then invite all of the groups back together so that they are facing a stage area. Be sure that all participants are giving their attention to the skits while they are happening. 4. Reflection: (10 minutes) Distribute the handout titled Reflection on Vocation to each participant with a pen. Ask them to find a quiet place within the room where they can be by themselves. Once everyone has settled, give the following directions: Please take some time to reflect on your own calling as a Priest, Prophet and King, and in other ways that you are being called. You will have ten minutes to read the information, answer the questions and think about your vocation. If you finish early, please just wait silently for others to finish. Play instrumental music while the participants are reflecting. When ten minutes are up (or the participants are finished), distribute the handout Specific Vocations. p. 3

4 5. Specific Vocations: (10 minutes) Take a few minutes to review this handout with the participants and provide additional information to them. For instance, in describing the different vocations use the names of the priests, deacons and religious that they might know. Give everyone a few minutes to answer the questions at the bottom of the page and then invite them to move back to the small groups in which they did their skits. 6. Small Group Sharing: (10 minutes) Invite each of the participants to share the answers to at least one of the questions on the either handout Reflections on Vocation or Specific Vocations. They should choose the questions they are most willing to answer. p. 4

5 Closing Prayer: (10 minutes) Invite the participants to come back together as a group. Begin with the song Path of Life (Spirit and Song, #54), verses 4, 5 and 6. Prayer Leader: Loving God, we know that you are constantly showing us a path for our own lives. Help us to pay attention to the ways that you guide us towards who we are to become. Give us wisdom to recognize your callings in our lives and the courage to follow you each day. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, our model of faithfulness. Amen. Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6 Petitions: Our response is, Guide your People. For the Pope, Bishops, Priests and Deacons, that their life of service to the Church will lead others to Jesus. We pray to the Lord. For Religious Men and Women, that their life of service to the Church will inspire others to acts of charity and obedience to the Gospel. We pray to the Lord. For Lay People who are ministers in the Church, that their life of service to the Church will help others to know and love God. We pray to the Lord. For Married Couples, that their love for each other will bring greater love and faithfulness to the world. We pray to the Lord. For Parents, that they may provide the direction, love and support that their children need at all stages of their lives. We pray to the Lord. For Single People, that they may find ways of serving God and their community and receive the love and support that they need. We pray to the Lord. Closing Prayer: Loving God, we know that there are many ways that we can love and serve you. Help us to honor you in the choices that we make and the ways that we live out our lives. Amen. Close by praying the Lord s Prayer. p. 5

6 Priest, Prophet, and King Priest Just as a Catholic Priest makes Christ present in the world today, so too are we called to make Christ more present. We do this by being prayerful, spiritual people helping others to pray being kind and gentle so that others can see Christ working within us Prophet Just as a prophet in the Old Testament spoke about God and shared the truth of who God is, so too are we called to speak the truth about God with our words and our actions. We do this by speaking up for those who are less fortunate, looked down upon or ignored standing up for our Catholic faith speaking about how our relationship with Jesus and our Church makes a difference to us involving ourselves in the practice of our faith learning more about what it means to be Catholic and growing in faith. King In days of old, it was the King s job to protect and care for the people of his kingdom. As kings ourselves, we too are responsible for paying attention to the needs of others, to lead others in a spirit of service and to be a Christian witness in all areas of our lives our homes, schools, sports teams, friends, etc. We do this by volunteering our time and resources to help those in need being a model for others of what it means to follow Jesus in the way we treat others, use our time and energy and live our lives trying to be Christ s hands, feet and voice in the world p. 6

7 Reflection on Vocation Priest, Prophet, and King What are some ways that you stay connected to Jesus? (prayer, actions, involvement at Church, etc.) When have you stood up for others who were in need? What did that feel like for you? When were you last involved in a service project? What do you like about helping others? What makes it difficult? Finding Your Vocation In finding your vocation, you are not meant to be someone else or to try to be that which you are not. You are called to be your truest self, the person God calls you to be, and that alone is an amazing gift. The world already has a Mother Teresa and a Bono, so there is no sense trying to be one of them or anyone else for that matter. We are asked to be our very best self and finding out what that means is important. What have others told you about yourself the things that you are good at? p. 7

8 What have other people encouraged you to do (or become when you are older)? What are the things that you do or the groups that you belong to that make you happiest? When have you felt closest to God? What, in that moment, did you feel called to? What do you know about what you don t want to do with your life? p. 8

9 Specific Vocations There are a variety of ways in which you can choose to live out your life. These include Christian Marriage through the Sacrament of marriage, husbands and wives are called to love each other, care for their families and be a witness to others. Single Life single people are able to give their time and talent to many different people and follow Jesus where they feel called. Priest through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, priests receive the power to consecrate the bread and wine at mass and forgive sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. They also are called to instruct others, share the Gospel, listen and advise. Priests can either be diocesan priests or belong to a religious order. Religious Life Religious women (nuns or sisters) and religious men (brothers or priests) take vows of chastity, obedience and poverty. They join a specific community (or order) and live by the vision and values (or charism) of the founder of that community. Most religious live in community and can have a variety of different ministries, usually based in the charism of their order (such as health care, education, retreats, etc.) Permanent Deacons Deacons are ordained to serve in special roles within the Church usually acts of charity. They also can assist with liturgy, baptize, witness marriages, and preside at funerals. Deacons can be single or married. Each of these vocations is a special calling from God. When you think about these unique callings, which one or ones are most appealing to you? What do you think are challenges of the callings you are considering? p. 9

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