Fostering Jesuit Vocations: Two Perspectives

Fostering Jesuit Vocations: Two Perspectives

The church knows what it is to be counter-cultural, from ancient warnings against the worship of false gods to today’s hot-button issues of abortion, homosexual marriage and the ordination of women.

Such noisy social issues, Fr. Hauser says, magnified incessantly by an omnipresent media culture, can make it difficult for young people to hear the voice that spoke to him in the 1950s, and to Gilger 50 years later. It increases greatly, he said, the difficulty of attracting new generations to Jesuit vocations.

What, then, to do?

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Pointers and Pitfalls in Vocation Promotion

I have told my vocation story many times and as a result, I have come to understand a different kind of “vocation promotion” in my interactions with students at my Jesuit university. In light of these experiences and of the almost 15 years since I started inquiring about life in the Society of Jesus, I propose a three-point method toward deepening Jesuit vocations in our institutions. Each part is essential and allows us to identify some common “traps” that get in the way of effective promotion of vocations to the Society.

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Kindling a Fire: Jesuit Education and Jesuit Vocation

An overly enthusiastic 18-year-old, I had just chosen Marquette for its proximity to my home, for its Catholic identity alive in retreats and liturgy, and for the adventures it offered in local, national and international service. Very soon after arriving at Marquette, I found just what I had sought: a sense of possibility, a sense that God was alive and daring, and a sense that this God was inviting me beyond myself into a servant love without borders, in Milwaukee and beyond. 

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