Talk freely about vocations

Written By  - Catholic News - Trinidad
Sunday June 28, 2015 

…shouldn’t be ‘taboo’ in Catholic families

By Lara Pickford-Gordon

“In excess of 100” pledges to recite the rosary and offer other prayers and Masses were made during the first telethon hosted by Generation S (Service) to promote vocations.

Taking the Vocation Conversation Home was the theme of the telethon held on June 19 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the studio of Trinity TV, Port of Spain.

Fr Matthew d’Hereaux, parish priest of Carapichaima and member of the Generation S Planning Committee, told the Catholic News: “The feedback from the viewing public was quite encouraging. There was a steady stream of calls and text messages throughout the day.”

The telethon featured interviews with representatives of 11 religious communities, two lay ecclesial (Living Water and Eternal Light Communities) and diocesan priests.
“Representatives of groups shared their ‘call stories’. They reminisced on their initial attraction to the priesthood and religious life, as well as echoed one another on the importance of encouragement received from friends and family when discerning a vocation. They spoke convincingly of their joy in serving the Lord in his vineyard,” Fr d’Hereaux said.

He noted that Labour Day was selected as the day for the telethon based on a reminder from Fr Robert Christo that Jesus had asked his disciples to pray for labourers to be sent to the ‘vineyard’.

Tricia Syms, of the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission and also a member of the Generation S Planning Committee, said the telethon was an attempt to move the conversation on vocations into another space.

Syms told the Catholic News, “So far we’ve been having the conversation with young people at the Archdiocesan level; we wanted to take the conversation into the home. We tried to create sets where parents can feel free to talk about vocations in the home.”

The interviews took place against a backdrop of two sets created to look like a living room and kitchen, and children played Pictionary and Monopoly on the sets.

Syms said the family atmosphere was aimed at “encouraging, supporting and inspiring families to have the conversation and be open, and also not to get in the way of the child’s interest in vocations”.

Fr d’Hereaux reiterated, “The conversation about the priesthood and religious life ought not to be a ‘taboo’ topic in Catholic homes.”

He too enjoyed the homely sets used for the telethon, so much so that he made a smoothie of apples, bananas, milk and oats which he shared with interviewee Fr Gerard Tang Choon O Carm, who spoke about the life of Carmelites.

Fr Christo, meanwhile, encouraged his interviewee, Sr Theresa Vialva CHF, to enjoy a Julie mango on set.

Fr Steve Ransome, parish priest of Toco/Matelot and another member of the Generation S Planning Committee, celebrated his fifth anniversary of

priestly ordination on May 29 and was surprised on set with a cake and sparkling grape juice.

“There was a wonderful team spirit between and among the technical staff at Trinity TV and the volunteers who helped take calls and text messages and provide hospitality for the interviewees,” Fr d’Hereaux commented.

Syms described the telethon as a real experience of “Church in action”, with very young to older persons working together, and exposed young people to “what Church has to offer”.