A recurring theme for religious vocations personnel is the requirement to promote the specific call to their way of life, and more particularly to promote the charism of their order, society or institute. This is important work and vital too if people are to maintian an interest in considering religious life as a call from God. There is a further recurring theme for religious vocation directors in that there is also a profound acknowledgement that all people are called to follow the Lord in their chosen way as married couples, those who choose to be single and those who are called to priesthood and religious life.
However, while we all acknowledge that we are all called to various forms of vocation in life, it is always necessary to make distinctions so that all vocations are promoted in their own right and that the dignity of each type of vocation is recognised for what it is. So, it is necessary when inviting people to consider any specific vocation, to look at other vocations as well. And it is essential that if we want to promote all vocations then we must promote each one in its own right with enthusiasm and underlining its unique character.
Over the past couple of decades there has been a watering down of the understanding of the religious vocation. This may well be as a result of an unclear understanding that all vocations in the church were equally imporant and of the same value, and many would have stated that the differences or distinctions no longer mattered. Along with this, religious themselves either discouraged or stopped promoting their distinctive form of life. This has had an effect on the understanding and nature of the religious vocation: it is not in opposition to other states of life such as marriage but because it has a specific character that is in contrast to the prevailing culture, it needs more than ever to be promoted vigorously as an integral and important vocation in the church