Effort to Promote Vocations in Catholic Education

New Instructional Book from Vocation Ministry

Promote Vocations Catholic Education
Rhonda Gruenewald

A new book is part of an effort to promote vocations in Catholic education.

The Harvest: A Guide to Vocation Ministry in Education is a first-of-its-kind book by Rhonda Gruenewald, founder of Vocation Ministry, focused on bringing vocation promotion to Catholic education, particularly Catholic schools at all educational levels.  Written specifically for teachers, catechists, youth ministers, and anyone who has the attention of young people, The Harvest offers over 75 pioneering activities and ideas in an effort to inspire young people to listen to God’s call.  As Catholic educators prepare their curriculum for the start of the fall semester, Gruenewald hopes The Harvest will offer an innovative roadmap that creates a vocation-friendly environment and increases vocations for years to come.

Promote Vocations Catholic EducationThe seeds for The Harvest were planted five years ago following the success and demand of Gruenewald’s first book Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry, a comprehensive step-by-step guide to starting and maintaining a thriving vocation committee at the parish level.  It has since paved the way for Vocation Ministry to build a network of more than 6,500 vocation promoters in 48 dioceses across North America and to present informational workshops that equip deacons, priests, religious, and laity to foster a vibrant culture of vocations.  This growth has taken place at a time when vocational statistics in the Church over the past 50 years have been in steady decline:

  • a 74% decline of sisters

  • a 67% decline in Catholic marriages

  • the average age of a priest is 67 years old

  • 30 dioceses did not ordain even one new priest in 2020

“God is still calling men and women to serve Him, and the work of Vocation Ministry is a testament to that!  We have found that year after year, close to 75% of the newly ordained first considered the priesthood between birth and 18 years of age, emphasizing the absolute necessity to encourage vocations early in life,” affirmed Gruenewald.

The inspiration for The Harvest also came from Gruenewald’s years of experience as an educator herself having taught English, speech, and debate at the high school level.  “Unfortunately, much of the education our youth encounter has lost its Catholic identity, and it has never been more important to present and foster the message of vocations in the classroom–to not only offer concrete ideas and activities but to present clear and practical pathways necessary to implement those activities for vocations to permeate all aspects of Catholic education,” continued Gruenewald.

Vocation Ministry offers an abundance of online resources that accompany The Harvest including five different companion workshops specifically developed to help Catholic educators promote a culture of vocations in the classroom setting.   Available virtually or in person for as little as two hours or a full day, these workshops fulfill an unmet need in the Church by providing K-12 leaders with impactful hands-on ways to affirm and apply the ideas presented in the book.

With a foreword written by Bishop Lucia of the Diocese of Syracuse, NY, and early endorsements from clergy, directors of catechesis, Catholic school superintendents and principals, and parochial school teachers across the country, The Harvest is available to order now.