Notre Dame, Ind. – In an ongoing effort to help young men interested in discerning a call to religious life and the priesthood with the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, the Office of Vocations recently launched a revamped, interactive website, www.holycrossvocations.org. The robust website now features valuable tools designed to first introduce potential candidates to what a life as a Holy Cross priest or brother entails, and then helps lead the men deeper into their discernment process.
Through videos, men hear first-hand from the Vocations Director Rev. James Gallagher, C.S.C., and Associate Director Rev. Andrew Gawrych, C.S.C., asking website visitors “Are you Called?” and then answering the questions “Who We Are” and “What We Do.” A glimpse inside what a life with Holy Cross looks like continues with video testimonials from current seminarians and is augmented with virtual tours of the Old College Undergraduate Seminary and the Moureau Seminary Candidate Program.
“The online discernment process is meant to enhance, not replace our personal interaction with men in the discernment process,” says Fr. Jim Gallagher. “Today’s generation goes online for everything, researching a call to religious life is no different. We redesigned the Holy Cross Vocations website to provide valuable resources to the young man who is asking himself that all-important question of how God is calling him.”
Written testimonials from current Holy Cross religious, reflection questions, discernment tips, and prayers are just some of the many tools the website provides to help aid men as they delve deeper and examine God’s call.
The site is chalked full of information giving visitors an introduction to the spirituality of Holy Cross, but also explaining how the Congregation’s history led to the brotherhood and the community that exists today. Men considering a religious life with Holy Cross learn what it means to be “educators in the faith” serving the people of God in education, parish and mission settings around the world.
The new Vocations website is one of the many online tools that the United States Province uses to engage and connect with men during their discernment process. The Office of Vocations also uses social media tools: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and soon a targeted e-newsletter will provide deeper reflection questions and other targeted discernment tools.
“Young men considering a call to religious life and priesthood are in search of God’s will,” says Fr. Andrew Gawrych. “Our social media tools are meant to be the first answer to their search, placing them in contact and communication with us. We then work with them to help them get in contact and communication with God, so that He can reveal the hopes and plans He has for their lives. It is in God’s hopes and plans that they, just like all of us, will find our greatest joy and help bring hope to our world.”
This approach of combining the latest in social media and internet outreach with personal support through conversation, prayer, and retreats has led 50 men to pursue their call to religious life and priesthood with the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers. These young men come from a diverse set of backgrounds, educational experiences, and life histories, but they share a common desire to give their lives in service to the Church and the world, and thus be men with hope to bring.