Vocations Awareness Day at York Catholic District School Board
May 3, 2012
York Catholic District School Board held its first Vocations Awareness day on May 3, 2012 under the leadership of Michael Way-Skinner, Coordinator: Religion, Family Life, Equity of the York Catholic District School Board with the support of the Toronto area Serra Clubs and Serra Foundation of Canada. The Toronto Central Serra Club and the Toronto Downtown Serra Club participated in the planning of the Vocations Awareness Day and many Serrans from the Toronto area Serra Clubs attended to help in the organizing of the students.
10 students were selected by the chaplains from each of the 15 secondary schools in York Region for a total of 150 grade 11 and 12 students who were invited to meet with vocations directors from various religious orders and the vocations director for the Toronto Archdiocese to talk about vocations.
The Toronto Area Vocations Directors Association (TAVDA) arranged for the various religious orders to attend including Father Hansoo Park, the Archdiocese of Toronto Vocations Director.
The day started at 9:30 AM with an opening prayer session followed by a panel of four religious order and priests who each shared their vocation stories. There were two workshop sessions that the students could visit in small breakout groups with the vocations directors from the numerous religious orders. Cardinal Thomas Collins attended the lunch and thanked the students for attending the day. The lunch was a “browse and dine” lunch where students could visit with the various vocations directors while they ate lunch. The students were back on the school buses at 1:30 PM for return to their schools.
All the students had an opportunity to speak to Cardinal Thomas Collins and then spontaneously took group pictures with the Cardinal with their cell phone cameras.
The vocations directors in their talks highlighted religious and priestly life as a pathway for those who are called to ministry in the Church. The students were enthusiastic
This is the first time that either Serra or the YCDSB has undertaken this type of a Vocation Awareness Day. The Toronto Area Serra Clubs in conjunction with the Serra Foundation of Canada assisted in the financial costs of the day.
The Toronto area Serra clubs undertook this type of a Vocations Awareness Day with the York Catholic District School Board with the hope that it will evolve into an event that all various school boards in the Archdiocese will undertake with the help of the Toronto Area Serra Clubs.