By Fr. Steve DeMaio, SDB, Province Vocation Director
(New Rochelle, NY – December 7) – On the weekend of November 17-19, the community in Chicago hosted a Come and See discernment weekend. Four young men attended the entire weekend, and one young man, who is under 18, stayed with us all day on Saturday. I want to thank Fr. Rich (director), Fr. Jim (regional vocation team member), and the entire community for a well-prepared and very positive experience for the young men.
After the weekend, I had a chance to sit down with each of the participants. Their overwhelming response was one of joy of being able to share life with the community and to see from up close the work that is being done. Even though the SDBs had a full weekend of ministry, they were present whenever they could be and welcomed the young men into their community. Each of the participants (ranging from 17-24) was part of the parish life in some way, whether that was working at summer camp, helping with catechism, or participating as a member of the “adoracion nocturna.”
This weekend's experience is a great reminder that there are young people who work with us who are open to exploring the possibility of a vocation to the Salesian Family. We just have to continue to build relationships with them and be courageous enough to ask. There is no guarantee that any of these young men will become an SDB, but by inviting them to spend the weekend, the community of Chicago is creating a vocation culture where young people can understand that it is a possibility.
Thanks to everyone for the efforts being made around the province to promote and create a vocation culture. Keep going!