A Lay Apostolate of the Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama

St John Vianney Vocations Society

ORdinationThe St John Vianney Vocations Society (SJVVS) is a response to the Church’s call to fully incorporate the fostering of vocations within the life and activity of the community. As a lay apostolate of the Diocese of Birmingham, our first and foremost responsibility is to pray for, encourage and support our current priests, seminarians and religious while also raising up vocations to the priesthood and religious life from our families, schools, and parishes throughout the diocese in partnership with the Diocesan Office of Vocations. 

The SJVVS supports a myriad of events and activities in cooperation with the diocese throughout the year, to include Altar Server Recognition Events, “Come and See” Discernment Events, Vocations Summer Seminarian Picnic, Vocations and Ministry Fairs, Vocations Summer Camp, Totus Tuus Youth Summer Program, Seminarian Christmas Dinner and Spiritual Bouquet Campaigns.

Any donations made to the SJVVS will go to support these events as well as other vocations efforts throughout the diocese.

 


 

….the fostering of vocations cannot be considered a marginal activitiy, but must be incorporated fully into the life and activity of the community.” –Pope Saint John Paul II

 

The St John Vianney Vocations Society (SJVVS) is a response to the Church’s call to fully incorporate the fostering of vocations within the life and activity of the community. As a lay apostolate of the Diocese of Birmingham, our first and foremost responsibility is to pray for, encourage and support our current priests, seminarians and religious while also raising up vocations to the priesthood and religious life from our families, schools, and parishes throughout the diocese in partnership with the Diocesan Office of Vocations.

There are currently two SJVVS chapters gathering in the diocese–one in Birmingham and one in Huntsville. The Birmingham Chapter is responsible primarily for the southern part of the diocese (south of Cullman), while the Huntsville chapter is responsible primarily for the northern part of the diocese (Cullman and north).  However, any person is invited to attend any meeting or be involved with any event regardless of location of home parish. To see which chapter your parish is primarily associated, pleaseclick here.

The SJVVS supports a myriad of events and activities in cooperation with the diocese throughout the year, and all the diocesan faithful are invited to participate in whatever way they can. For ways to become involved, please peruse the other pages of this website, or feel free to contact the SJVVS at sjvvsorg@sjvvs.org.


“To Whom Much is Given, Much will be Expected”

 

As a final note, it is good to recall that if God has favored a soul with many graces, much will be expected of that soul. This should in no way increase one’s pride, however. On the contrary, it should humble the soul even more, for having made so poor use of such favors (and the harsher it will be judged). Let us examine ourselves, to see whether we were granted such grace, despite our unworthiness;

  • To Baptized into the family of God with an indelible mark on our soul
  • To be a member of the Catholic Church and to receive Our Lord in His fullness through the Sacrament of Love.
  • To have been born into a good and loving family
  • To have shelter over our heads, and relative security.
  • To be relatively well-adjusted, level headed, not hysteric, neurotic, or pathological.
  • To love God and want to serve Him.
  • To already posses certain virtues, such as prudence, temperance, kindness, diligence, fortitude.
  • To not be self-absorbed; to realize that we are called to a life outside of ourselves
  • To have an abhorrence for sin, or at least posses a continual desire to conquer one’s affection for sin

Spiritual Mothers and Fathers

Spiritual Mother and Father Registration is now Open for 2016!

We are searching for:

One-to-One matches for each of the 10 diocesan seminarians

and

Those willing to serve as “general” Spiritual Mothers or Fathers who agree to pray for all the seminarians, by name, over the course of the summer and then during the subsequent 2015-16 academic year as well as for all priests ministering in our diocese and an increase in vocations in our diocese

Click here to send an email to register


What is a Spiritual Mother or Father?

Spiritual Mothers or Fathers are women and men who agree to pray intercessory prayer for diocesan seminarians during their summer assignments and also during an academic year of priestly formation at seminary.

What are the expectations for Spiritual Mothers and Fathers? 

Some women and men are matched “one-to-one” with a specific seminarian. Others are “general” prayer Mothers and Fathers and receive the names of all the seminarians. Mothers and Fathers are asked to pray one “Hail Mary” for either their specific seminarian sons or for a few seminarians on the list each day.

Additionally, since it is very important for the seminarians to commit to their summer ministry and academic years without unnecessary interruptions, therefore, it is requested that the first time a Spiritual Mother or Father makes contact with their seminarian should be at a SJVVS Friends Event in either the summer (BBQ with the Seminarians) or winter (Christmas Dinner).

Please note, some of the seminarians and Spiritual Mothers/Fathers do continue a friendship, and this is neither encouraged nor discouraged. If a connection happens which is agreeable to both parties, what a blessing! If not, the prayers of faith-filled women and men have provided a “dome of grace” which nurtured and protected the seminarians during their time of mutual prayer.

How do I become a Spiritual Mother or Father?

This brochure will give you further details, including the history of the Spiritual Mothers and Fathers program.

Spiritual Mothers and Fathers Brochure

 


Seminarian Education Fund

 

The Seminarian Education Fund (formerly known as the Burse Club) is the primary means through which seminarians preparing for the priesthood in the Diocese of Birmingham are supported. The Seminarian Education Fund was created in 1952 by the late Monsignor Francis J. Foley to ensure continual resources for the recruitment and training of major and college seminarians to serve as the future leadership of the Catholic Church.

“Burse” is a medieval Latin word meaning “purse,” and is also a Scottish term for a fund providing allowance for students. It is the Roman Catholic term used for a flat case used at Mass to carry the corporal – a white cloth on which the consecrated elements are placed. Hence a symbol of the Church is used to represent a fund for seminarians. The name was recently changed from the Burse Club to the Seminarian Education Fund to better reflect its purpose.

As of July 2006, over one million dollars had been collected for the Burse Fund project through monthly collection envelopes. Distributions are made on an semi-annual basis to support tuition, room and board and other expenses related to training seminarians.

Seminary tuition is just like college tuition – expensive, and the Seminarian Education Burse Fund goes directly to the Birmingham Diocese for the purpose of providing financial aid to seminarians preparing for the diocesan priesthood. As of 2013, the average cost to train one seminarian, including tuition and room and board now exceeds $35,000/year. The number of years for priestly formation averages between 6-8 years depending upon the level of education already completed before entering seminary, therefore, the total cost of seminary can exceed more than $275,000 before a man is ordained to the priesthood.

Any donation made to the Seminarian Education Fund goes directly to the education and training of current seminarians.


Encouraging Vocations

“Come and See” Discernment Events

Diocese of Birmingham Vocations office website, or call (205) 838-2184 or emailvocations@bhmdiocese.org 

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