For Pastors & Vocation Promoters

Dear Pastors and Vocation Promoters,

Pastors, Thank you for all you do to support vocations!  As you know, encouragement and support from the parish priest plays an important part in a young man’s discernment to the priesthood.  The Office of Vocations would like to help and support you in your efforts, especially within our social media platforms – website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

On this page you will be able to download your “Vocations Toolbox” and utilize those pieces of information that are most helpful to you and your parish community.  I hope that the information provided on this page will aid you in promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  Please do not hesitate to contact me personally if you have questions or would like me to come to your parish to speak about vocations.

Vocation Promoters, I ask that you work with your pastors in creating a Vocation Committee in your parish. Pay special attention to the book Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry. This resource is especially important for you as you aid your pastor in promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

In gratitude for your love of the priesthood!

Fr. Jeff Eirvin
Director of Vocations

Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry

Rhonda Gruenewald, from her experience of leading a successful Vocation Ministry, has written  Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry providing information, activities, and inspiration to anyone starting, reviving, or refreshing a Vocation Ministry, and to make those ministries thrive. It is designed to inspire parishes to get involved in vocation work, to help new ministries start strong by providing a clear guide to the nuts and bolts of the ministry, and to reinvigorate long-standing committees with fresh ideas that attract new workers to God’s vineyard.

Vocation Curriculum for Educators

Vocation Lessons Curriculum

An online K-12 curriculum for both Catholic Schools and Faith Formation. Covers marriage, priesthood, and consecrated life. Contact our office for password for teachers and catechists. Website

Called: Discover Your Vocation

A DVD set with workbooks, great to help middle school and high school students start thinking about their vocations.Covers marriage, priesthood, and consecrated life. Buy online here

Vocation Videos

Recommended especially for National Vocation Awareness Week

Vocation Prayer Cards

Various Prayer Cards for Archdiocese of Portland, in English and Spanish

For Parents

Reactions can vary widely when parents discover that their son or daughter is considering a single-hearted life of service to God’s people and his Church as a priest or Religious Sister. Some parents are very happy and eager to provide support while others may have questions or concerns about their child’s discernment process or intended vocation.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for parents of those who are discerning a call to the priesthood or religious life:



Don’t overreact. Trust the Holy Spirit is at work in your child’s life in the discernment process, as well as in your own life. Ask for docility to the Spirit.


There are so many cultural and societal factors that can negatively influence a person’s discernment. Many deride or mock a life of sacrificial love. Verbalize your support in word or writing but only when you are sincere and ready. Avoid negative comments or put downs of the Church, or of a possible priestly or Religious vocation.


Supporting a vocation should not happen blindly. Ask questions but be aware that your child may not have many answers initially. Find out how discernment or seminary and the convent work. Talk to a priest you trust. Call or email the Vocation Director to set up a time to meet. Remember that no one is ordained or takes solemn vows right away; it takes anywhere from six to ten years of formation to become a priest or Religious Sister. Throughout that entire process your child will discern freely, and remain always free to leave and pursue other paths in life.


The road to the seminary and convent, to priesthood and the Religious life, is paved with ups and downs and graces and crosses similar to those preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. Initially some inquirers for the seminary or convent may not share much: some because it is so personal, others because they are anxious, and some from fear of rejection or mockery.


Reactions will vary as others find out about your child’s intentions. Be careful not to feel pressure to answer questions you can’t or choose not to. See this as an opportunity to get to know others spiritually and to grow in your own knowledge of the faith.


Love your child, love God, love the Church. Ask God for the grace to love all three. BE PRAYERFUL: Lift your child up in prayer each day as well as their vocation. Don’t forget to do the same for your other children! Give God gratitude for your children. Do not be too anxious about the future…as Scripture says, “fear is useless, what is needed is trust!”


Don’t ordain or consecrate your son or daughter to the priesthood and Religious life today or tomorrow. Your loved one and the Church will decide if and when they are ready.

Don’t badger them about their vocation. Don’t belittle their experience, sincerity, or experience of the Church that may be different from yours.

Don’t fall into the modern trap that unless one is sexually active one cannot be happy. Celibates have the gift of sexuality as Jesus did. We must all struggle to give that gift in a way that honors God and His plan for us and the Church.

Don’t think it is just a phase that will go away. The Lord may be up to something special with your child. The Lord chose simple fishermen, a tax collector and a physician…God chooses whom He wishes.

Don’t try to figure it all out. Pope John Paul II said of his vocation that it was a “gift and mystery.”

What to do…and not to do by  Fr. Marcel Taillon