On October 16, 2020, the Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto in Venezuela conducted a meeting on vocation ministry in the Custody.
This was an on-line meeting attended by Friar Franklin Antonio DURÁN ZAMBRANO, the Provincial Custos; Friar Juan Gregorio MARTÍNEZ CANELÓN, the Director of Custodial Vocation Ministry; and Friars Andrés Eduardo GUERRA VEQUIZ, Ángel Joel NIÑO PACHECO, Domicio Ramón MOLINA PÉREZ, Manuel Edgardo NÚ GALLARDO and Ramón Alfredo RUI UREÑA, all members of the Custodial Vocation Ministry Team
The main objective of the meeting was to evaluate the status of vocation ministry in the Custody. For this reason, the Provincial Custos proposed that the vocation promoters reflect deeply on the commitments they undertook at their first meeting held in January of 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. At that time, the friars committed to implementing the guidelines of the Custodial Four-Year Plan on vocation ministry, namely: 1) to provide regional guidance of young men seeking a vocation, according to the criteria established for vocational discernment in the Church and the Order today (in the friaries where the various vocation promoters reside. 2) to promote the Order’s charism through today’s media. The Provincial Custos also proposed that they discern the challenges that face vocation promotion and guidance in Venezuela today.
Regarding the challenges facing vocation ministry, the confreres highlighted the tumultuous times in which we live, where young men fall seriously short when it comes to making plans for their lives. This is because of the current situation in the nation, a situation which causes them to think only of the present moment and prevents them from making any clear plans for the future;
Many of these young men want to join the Order as a means of escaping the socio-economic conditions the nation is facing. To respond to all this, the team will try to more closely examine the motivations of young men seeking a vocation and implement a more in-depth process of vocational discernment, in accordance with the criteria of the Gospel, the Church and the Order and as was suggested by the Custodial Definitory at its meeting of September 21-23, 2020.
Other commitments undertaken by the team include making the Custodial Four-Year Plan better known to the friars of the Custody; continuing to promote the charism of the Order in Venezuela through the media; inviting young men seeking a vocation to spend a week (or a weekend) at some of the friaries in the Custody, allowing them to better understand the life of the friars, and in turn, allowing the promoters to better understand these young men; planning some virtual panel discussions on vocation ministry issues with invited experts; conducting another meeting to evaluate the work done by the team before the end of the year; and promoting and organizing a meeting with all the young men in discernment for Holy Week of 2021, in a place to be established.
Friar Juan Gregorio MARTÍNEZ CANELÓN, Custodial Vocation Promoter