This year in religion one of the big topics we needed to cover were vocations. This is one of my favourite units to teach, because I think it is one of the most important decision one will make in his or her lifetime. Often, the students have no problems understanding the vocation of marriage, it is obviously the one they are most familiar with. The same cannot be said about the other vocations and I generally sense discomfort when we talk about the religious vocations and even the call to the single life (many are shocked to learn that this is even a vocation!). I don’t blame them as I myself have not always felt comfortable around the topic of religious life for a variety of reasons. My goal was to encourage the girls to be open and to remember that God wouldn’t give us a vocation we didn’t want or desire. Desire is a big clue in determining ones vocation and it is important that the students realize that their desires are from God.
I did my best this year to cover all vocations equally and to expose the girls to both the positives and negatives of each vocation. I especially touched on the religious life, because that one is often negatively portrayed in our society today. To combat those negative attitudes and stereotypes I showed the students this powerful promotional video done by Imagine Sisters.
I also showed them a clip from Entertainment Tonight that interviewed a nun on the red carpet. Dolores Hart, Elvis’ first onscreen kiss, who left Hollywood to become a nun. Her story is truly incredible and I could tell that the students were impressed.
Our school also had a nun come and present to our entire school this year. Now, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about how entertaining a nun could be and I realized that I had many of the same stereotypes that my students had! But Sister Mariam James was awesome and related so well to both the students and myself. I also discovered later, that this same sister who presented, was the same sister, who wrote the blog I had been reading for several months! I had even used one of her posts for a current event the day before she came to our school! It really is a small world.
Finally, I showed the Sound Of Music. Thank goodness I have only girls, because somehow I don’t think I could have gotten away showing this movie to 14 year old boys! It really is a great movie that illustrates the journey that we all must go on to find our true vocation. Of course, one can get lost in the music of the film and the girls did sing, but I also had them do questions that helped keep their focus on the vocation parts of the film.
I especially liked contemplating on this line from the movie: “a dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life for as long as you live.” I had never really thought about it in that way, but it is true, vocations are demanding and they require everything that you have every single day. They are not like careers, where it’s 9-5 and one day you can retire, vocations are every moment, until your last breath.