For many priests, invitation was a key factor in entering the seminary —being personally asked to consider a priestly vocation.
When Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins addressed Serrans at their international conference in Toronto, he said priests play a crucial role in a young man’s willingness to consider the priesthood. Years ago, as the director of a seminary, he asked seminarians what brought them there.
“I offered several options,” he said. “Vocation literature: zero. Imagery/beautiful pictures: zero. The influence of being invited by a priest: 45 out of 50.”
One way that Serra International is encouraging vocations is through the Serra Invitation Coin, a new project spearheaded by Nashville Serran Bob Rudman. This beautiful coin is designed to be given away, and asks a young man or woman if they’ve considered the priesthood or religious life. The custom-minted coins (one option for men, one for women) are a beautiful way to offer that personal invitation to consider a religious call.
Within the last few months, Serra International has used these coins to launch two programs to encourage vocations. “Have You Considered Becoming a Priest” began earlier this year and included the gold Serra Invitation Coin asking this question. A few months later, “Have You Considered Religious Life” launched and includes a silver coin that asks the same.
The goal of the coins is to offer an opportunity for this “invitation” that is so critical to the discernment process. As we pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, the coins offer a tangible opportunity to extend this invitation.
In his book To Save a Thousand Souls, Father Brett Brannen says that a priest asking these important and simple questions helps implement the four “i”s in forming a vocation program – inspiration, invitation, information, and intimacy.
A Solid Invitation
Encourage vocations by giving out Serra Invitation Coins. Young men receive this invitation coin engraved with the question: “Have you considered becoming a priest?”
Young women receive this invitation coin engraved with the question: “Have you considered religious life?”
These custom-minted coins are larger than a silver dollar and twice as thick, offering a substantial, permanent reminder to consider God’s call. Five coins come in a handsome box, with a small card encouraging priests to give the coins to men and women in their parishes.