Saint Mary's Dominican Priory, Pope's Quay, CorkThe first vocations weekend of 2012 take place in our novitiate community in Saint Mary's priory, Cork, from this evening until Sunday afternoon. These weekends are an integral and important aspect of the discernment process for those interested in joining the Order because it gives them an insight into the life, work and ministry of the friars at first hand. This 'experiential' module of the discernment undertaken by enquirers also allows them to clarify many of the issues pertaining to our life that will inevitably arise during the time spent with the vocations director in preparation for a 'vocations weekend'.
The nature of 'vocation' weekends has changed considerably over the past number of years. In the Irish Dominican province, the participants on these weekends are by invitation only. The 'open invitation' model of attracting enquirers to such weekends are a thing of the past because they have proved somewhat counter-productive in our experience - primarily because encountering individuals for the first time at a vocations weekend is not at all best practice. In my view, a participant on a vocations weekend would need to be very well known to the friars and the vocations director for a period of time to ascertain his seriousness and suitability to enter into this level of discernment.
Please pray for the success of our first vocations weekend of 2012, and especially for those participating in it.