• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Tuesday, 27 February 2018 10:47

Lay person takes on vocations promotion role

Manny Bautista SVD vocations 450Vocations to Religious life are not so common these days, but the newly appointed Vocations Promotion Coordinator of the SVD AUS Province says he’s convinced there are still plenty out there, and he is looking forward to the challenge of talking to people about their vocational possibilities.

Emmanuel Bautista, known as Manny, (pictured right) is the first lay person to take on the vocations role in the Province, a move that signals both a deepening desire for lay collaboration and the priority being given to looking at new ways of engaging in this ministry.

Manny, who was born and raised in the Philippines, before moving to Sydney with his wife and two daughters in 2009, has previously worked as the Executive Officer of the Diocese of Broken Bay’s Vocations Office, as well as the Vocations Promoter for the Scalabrinian Congregation, and says he is keen to now work amongst the Divine Word Missionaries.

“I love being able to help out or contribute in the challenging work of promoting vocations to religious life and the priesthood in Australia, as well as the thought that I am able to take part in the missionary work of the Church,” he says.

“I find it rewarding when I talk to people about their vocations, being able to convey to them the need of the Church for more men to become priests or religious missionaries.”

“I am delighted to hear vocations stories of priests, brothers and both seminarians and prospective seminarians, learning from them how the Spirit has led them to seriously consider becoming a priest or a missionary, and how they continue to respond to their call in this challenging time of missionary work and priestly ministry.”

The SVD AUS Province is blessed to have a full seminary, with students from a wide variety of overseas countries, especially from Africa and Asia. Two current postulants came from the Thai District of the Province, but home-grown vocations have been thin on the ground in Australia and New Zealand for some decades.

Manny, who is himself a former seminarian who holds degrees in both Air Transport Engineering and Theology, acknowledges that the challenges to vocation ministry are real, especially in western countries.

“Part of the problem is that not many young people participate in the life and activities of the Church,” he says. “That’s why we only see few young people at weekend masses. The challenge is to ask where to find them and to reach out to them.”

He also identifies the sexual abuse crisis within the Church and the tainted image of priests and the Church as having created an ambivalence and mistrust among people.
“As a result, parents and relatives of young men are not keen at encouraging them to consider religious life and priesthood,” he says.

“Another challenge is to be able to get the support of the Church community, at the parish level, to help in the promotion of vocations. In promoting vocations, I employ the counsel of the Conciliar Fathers in The Decree on Priestly Training (Optatam Totius) as a guiding principle, which clearly states that: “The duty of fostering vocations pertains to the whole Christian community …”. It also notes that: “The effective union [and collaboration] of the whole people of God in fostering vocations is the proper response to the action of Divine Providence …”.

Manny says, despite the challenges, the promotion of vocations remains a valuable ministry in the Church.

“I have a feeling that Australia and New Zealand are viable sources of vocations, because of their migrant communities.”

Manny says he is honoured to be the first lay person to take up this role in the SVD AUS Province.

“The Council Fathers of the Second Vatican Council recognised the giftedness of the laity and foresaw their invaluable contributions in the evangelising mission of the Church,” he says.

“Like other archdioceses/dioceses and religious congregations, the SVD saw the need to employ a lay person to help promote missionary vocations for the Congregation.

“ I feel grateful to be chosen to do the role and blessed to be part of the Arnoldus Family of multicultural, religious missionaries.”