From Tuesday, July 26th to Friday, July 29th, come and check out what the Vocations Center has to offer! Operating under the Youth Festival, the Vocations Center can be found in the Krakow Stadium. Signs saying “Quo vadis?” - meaning the question, “Where are you going?” lead to the Krakow Stadium.
The Vocations Center hosts a kind of vocations fair, wherein different orders and religious associations present themselves. Conferences covering topics important to young people continue to be lead in a variety of languages. Booths run primarily by consecrated persons are attractive in many ways, and some communities distribute various kinds of gadgets. For instance, the Felician Sisters handed out colorful sunglasses, folded fans, bags, pens with religious medals or rosaries. Sr. Teofila Dziuban says that people continuously ask her questions and that she is occupied at every moment. Thanks to the gadgets, young people stop and ask about her community. The attendants' attention was also drawn to the lights illuminating the booth of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Charles Borromeo. They not only invited the attending youth to their order, but they also encouraged them to discover their life's path. Sr. Laura Zielinska eagerly talked about what her daily life looks like. She made clear that besides committing to a vow to chastity, poverty and obedience, the order, too, takes a vow of mercy.
Thirteen female communities established by Blessed Honorat Koźmiński presented from one booth in order to show that despite their differences, their love of God unites them - “one Spirit, but many paths.” In their booth is a sack of grain from which you can draw words of the founding father which have been written in various languages. These have a symbolic role, namely, that something has been sown. Only after many years will we be able to see the fruits of the sowing. The relics of Blessed Honorat may be found in a notebook-like reliquary prepared especially for this occasion. There were plenty of wristbands, pens and keychains which attracted young people. Besides the more well-known communities and orders like the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, the Redemptorists or the Militia of the Immaculate, newer orders were also present, for example, the Order of the Holy Spirit, who direct their efforts to the importance of the Holy Trinity.
“We host 122 booths in total. Most booths represent Polish communities. We host orders from outside of Poland as well, for instance, from France, Italy, England and India. The Vocations Center not only promotes Catholic communities, but also Academies – the Academy of Work, the Academy of Mercy as well as the Academy of God and the Academy of the Family. These academies host workshops and lectures focusing upon life in an order or the discovery of the call to family life,” explains Aleksandra Przytulska, coordinator of the Vocations Center and WYD Volunteer.
The vocations fair also hosts booths of international communities. The Shalom community invites you to the Szczepański Square from July 27th – 29th where the Halleluia Festival will be. Sister Cristina from the program “Got Talent” will be there, among others. Volunteer Kinga Piwecka, who is stationed at the Comboni Missionaries booth, invites attendants to take interest in their works.
“The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus were established by a central African bishop by the name of St. Daniel Comboni, who stated that we must help Africans. His idea was centered upon educating African residents so that they could help one another. His motto was “help Africa through Africa.” What is important for me is how many of us there are. We work with one goal. There are many organizations but every one has its own charism that is characterized by its specific work. We are Christians, we are a part of the Church, and we are one family. We are here because we all do some good work,” says Piwecka.
“The vocations fair has had a positive impact on attendants. Many people are considering taking the path of consecrated life, including Anamarija Stojc, who came to Krakow for World Youth Day. “I came here with my Slovenian peers. It is important for me to see so many young people from so many different groups. Being present with the pope is a blessing to me. I don't know to what place God predestines us. Will I become a sister? Maybe, I don't know. God may call any one. He may speak through the mass or through our encounter with the pope,” says Anamarija.
Dorota Rogula, Sebastian Banasiewicz
Photos Sebastian Banasiewicz
The Vocations Center is Now Open
From Tuesday, July 26th to Friday, July 29th, come and check out what the Vocations Center has to offer!