‘Hundredfold Workshop’ on Jan. 21 to explore vocations promotion in parishes

Author and speaker Rhonda Gruenewald, developr of the Hundredfold Workshop, will be the presenter at the diocesan event on Jan. 21 at St. Jude Church in Peoria.

People who want to promote vocations to sacramental marriage, the priesthood and consecrated life will get the tools they need to do it at the Hundredfold Workshop, planned for Saturday, Jan. 21, at St. Jude Church in Peoria. It will begin with morning prayer at 9 a.m. and promises to send participants out at 2 p.m. “energized” and “with a plan of action.”

The speaker for the day will be Rhonda Gruenewald, who developed the workshop and materials while she was reviving the parish vocations ministry in her home parish, St. Cecilia in Houston, Texas. She introduced the program to the priests of the Diocese of Peoria during their annual gathering in October, encouraging them to identify the person or persons in their parishes who could take leadership of a vocation apostolate and “run with it.”

Those persons will form the core audience for the Hundredfold Workshop, but anyone is welcome to attend, said Father Timothy Hepner, vocations director for recruitment for the Diocese of Peoria. That includes women religious, permanent deacons, teachers, directors of religious education and youth ministers, among others.

“I think it’s important for people to see this as laying the foundation for a greater culture of vocations in the diocese,” Father Hepner said. “Often people say, ‘We need more priests — or religious Sisters or holy marriages.’ This is something to help people not just say something, but to do something about it.”

In addition to talks by Gruenewald, there will be opportunities for participants to consider where their parish is in terms of promoting vocations, hear about a variety of resources, and think about next steps. They will also pray together at a Mass for Vocations and share lunch.

Father Hepner emphasized that this is not being done out of desperation — “Oh, no! We’re running out of priests!”

“My message is there are vocations out there and I’m blessed to actually see those vocations,” he told The Catholic Post. “I think it’s important for people to know there are young people hearing that call and there are young people who have it. It’s not like that’s going away. It’s how do we help them hear it and nurture it when they do?”

There is no charge to attend the Hundredfold Workshop, but registration is requested by Jan. 7 so arrangements can be made for lunch and materials. Registration is being taken online at comeandfollowme.org/workshop.

For more information or to make a donation to offset the cost of the workshop, call Amy Chovan at (309) 671-1550.


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