Promoting Vocations

Michelle Horton with students.


by Associate Michelle Horton

On the road again . . . Who does not love a road trip?! I had the opportunity to spend 12 days traveling to Washington, DC, and Indiana to promote vocations to religious life!

In Washington, DC, at the Ignatian Solidarity Network Teach-In, I spent time with Quincy Howard, OP; her community; and Lien Do, OP. In Indianapolis, I spent time with Sisters, priests, and brothers hanging out with 23,000 high school students.

The Jesuit Teach-In’s mission is to “network, educate, and form advocates for social justice animated by the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the witness of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador and their companions.” The 2019 theme was Radical Hope, Prophetic Action and topics included refugees, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), environmental issues, and how to create welcoming parishes for the LGBTQ community. Keynote speakers included Marcia Chatelain, PhD, race and ethnicity in America scholar; Peggy O’Neil, SC, founder of Centro Arte Para la Paz; and Reyna Montoya, founder and CEO of Aliento; Simone Campbell, SSS; and James Martin, SJ. All the speaker presentations are available at the following link: (this includes Quincy Howard’s call to action on the advocacy day on Capitol Hill).

I left 2,000+ college students to spend three days with high school students from across the country in Indianapolis at the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), an event filled with prayer, fellowship, and fun. As a member of the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), I worked with nearly 80 members representing a total of 51 congregations/orders to staff the Inspirational Nook. The Nook is a vocation-themed space that allowed young people to converse informally with religious and see religious life as a life-giving option.

Both events were inspiring as I was among young adults who are passionate about their faith and looking for ways to live out the Gospel. A highlight was seeing students from Dominican High School, Whitefish Bay, WI, in Indianapolis! They were as excited to run into someone from Sinsinawa as I was to run into them!

Click for Spectrum January 2020 Index

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