Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

... And 37 Northwest women participate in VOCARE 2014

the Inland Register

(From the Aug. 21, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Thirty-seven excited, interested and great-hearted girls attended VOCARE 2014 July 7-10 at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center (IHRC), Spokane.

Participants this year came from Eastern and Western Washington, Eastern Oregon, and Idaho. Half of the young ladies were returning participants for a second and third time.

With little or no exposure to Sisters in their home areas, it was obvious that they came ready to learn more about Religious life and find support for the growth of their Catholic faith in the upcoming experiences and in their friendships with one and other.

The Sisters of the Spokane Diocesan Vocations Team, representing six different Congregations, designed the VOCARE experience. Aspects include exposure to different ministries and community life-styles of various Sisters, group prayer, input sessions using instructive DVDs, daily Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and social times and games.

With the loan of the All Saints School bus and Benny, the generous driver, the “first-year” girls were taken around town to learn first-hand of the history, the different ministries and community life-styles of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, the Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of the Holy Names, the Missionaries of Charity (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s congregation), the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, the Poor Clares, and the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church.

Sister Marcia Kay LaCour (left) of the Poor Clare Sisters introduced a pair of VOCARE participants to the Sisters’ radio ministry. Spokane’s Sacred Heart Radio station is located in the Sisters’ Monastery of St. Clare in north Spokane. (IR photo courtesy of the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church)

For the returning participants, a separate program included new ministry-site visits, including three of the works of Catholic Charities; a special retreat day with deeper input on the nature of Religious life; and an evening for the girls to visit one-on-one with a Sister of their choice.

Besides the core team, another 20 Sisters from the wider area, including Carmelite, Dominican, and Benedictine Sisters, came to IHRC to tell their stories, answer questions, and be available for private conferences with VOCARE participants.

Involving all these Sisters was not the only way VOCARE was a tremendous community-wide effort. Some $6,000 had to be raised to subsidize participation fees for the young women and keep costs at a minimum. This goal was reached with the help from the Knights of Columbus, State-wide Chapters of the Catholic Daughters, a fund-raiser offered by the Sacred Heart Parish Men’s Schola in Spokane, Assumption Men’s Bible Study in Spokane, the Serra Club, each Religious congregation, and other generous individuals.

Most of the meals were donated and sometimes also served by different generous groups, including Council #683 of the Knights of Columbus, Home Schooling Parents, Secular Franciscans and parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Spokane, Tin Star BBQ, Associates of the Holy Names Sisters, IHRC, and the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church, who reside at IHRC.

The participants’ written evaluations for the weekend included this comment:

“I would love to attend again in order to: learn more about the Religious life and to see if it may be my calling; to have a time to get away and have my faith grow and become stronger; and to have fun with all the wonderful Sisters and my new friends.”

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