The goal of the Office of Priest Vocation is to assist clergy and laity to become more involved through action and prayer and to foster and promote the needs of the Church for priestly vocations.
- The Eparchial Bishop appoints the Director of Priestly Vocation Director.
- It is the responsibility of the Vocations Director to foster vocations to the priesthood by:
- Visiting the parishes and making vocation presentations to the community if possible.
- Making presentations on vocations at the regional clergy retreats.
- Making presentations to the young people during the Youth Workshops.
- Preparing promotional material concerning vocations.
- Arranging for publicity of the Seminary, especially concerning special events such as ordinations, celebrations, etc. Publicity should also include feature articles in the Eparchial Newsletter concerning the daily spiritual, academic, and social life at the Seminary.
- Cooperating with the National Apostolate of Maronites in its vocation program.
- Maintaining contact with perspective candidates.
- The Vocation Director is to help the Bishop decree possible candidates for priesthood by:
- Arranging for visits to the Seminary of any prospective candidates.
- Gathering all necessary documentation, information, recommendations concerning applicants.
- Arranging for the psychological evaluation of applicants.
- Conducting or arranging for personal interviews with applicants and family.
- Recommending a candidate for acceptance in Our Lady of Lebanon Seminary or another Seminary.
- The Vocation Director is to nurture seminarians by:
- Maintaining contact with the seminarian during his formation;
- Helping with summer and holiday assignments.
- It is the administrative responsibility of the Vocation Director to:
- Submit a report annually to the bishop and Seminary Board.
- Consult with the Seminary Board at least once a year concerning the execution and revision of this program.
- Maintain complete files concerning all applicants.
- Submit a budget and financial report on an annual basis to the Chancery.
- Participate in national conventions and local workshops for vocation directors.
- Whenever it is deemed appropriate, the Eparchial Bishop will convoke the priests of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon to retreats and workshops on the nature of priestly vocation and ministry.
- In fulfillment of its mandates to foster and nurture vocations, the National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM), in cooperation with and under the guidance of the Vocation Directors of the Eparchies of Our Lady of Lebanon and Saint Maron, may assist them in their offices by engaging in the following programs and/or activities:
- Crusade of Prayer―The purpose of the Crusade is the promulgation of a more positive and effective response to Our Lord’s command: “The harvest is good but the laborers are scarce. Beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather his harvest.” (Matthew 9:38). There are three facets of this Crusade:
- Liturgical Prayer―On an occasional basis the Liturgy for Vocations (cf. Fenqitho, p. 140) should be celebrated in the parishes. Intercessory prayers for an increase in vocations, prayers for clergy, religious and seminarians, should always be included in the Sunday Liturgies. Seasonal texts, approved by the Director of Liturgy, will be prepared by the Vocations Team and distributed by NAM.
- Individual and Family Prayer―A booklet including para-liturgical prayer services and prayers for vocations to be used by the family and individuals, approved by the Director of Liturgy, should be prepared by he Vocations Team. It may be distributed through the NAM office.
- Prayer Groups―With the approval of the pastor, prayer groups should be formed on a parochial level. These groups are to foster positive attitude toward church-related vocations and be a source of support and encouragement to those who manifest signs of a vocation. The mission of these groups is twofold: prayer for vocations and parochial vocations programs. These groups are to be entrusted with the distribution of material relating to vocations; they should encourage others to participate in the crusade for prayer; on an annual basis they may sponsor a workshop on vocations for parishioners.
- Altar Server Programs―With the approval of the pastor, local NAM representatives may sponsor social events for the altar servers (at least annually) as an expression of gratitude for their service to the parish. Such activities could include bowling, ball games, picnics, trips to theme parks, etc. All such activities are to begin with a para-liturgical prayer service for vocations.
- Annual Essay and Poster Contest―NAM will sponsor an annual essay and poster contest.
- Conventions―At least one Divine Liturgy will be dedicated to vocations. The Vocations Team/ Seminary Board will prepare a display booth. All seminarians of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles will be guests of NAM at the eparchial convention.
- Youth Ministry Program―NAM, in cooperation and under the guidance of the Eparchial Offices of Youth Ministry, may assist the Youth Ministry Offices in fostering vocations to the priestly life.
D. Vocation Team
- The Vocations Team will be comprised of the Vocation Director, two priests, one deacon, one subdeacon, and three lay persons. With due regard for the term of office of the Vocation Director, all members of the Vocation Team will serve for a two-year term renewable.
- The Vocation Director will present candidates for membership on the VocationTeam; appointment of members is the competency of the Eparchial Bishop.
- The Vocation Team will assist the Vocation Director in fostering, discerning and nurturing vocations in whatever manner he deems appropriate.