Vocations Talks for Elementary, Middle and High Schools

Did you ever consider bringing in a seminarian or religious to your parish school to meet with students?  It’s an idea that can lead to increased vocation discernment within your school.

Serra Participation

  • Recruiting priests/religious to speak at school
  • Providing transportation for priests/religious to and from school
  • Helping with materials (e.g., printing out prayers and handing them out in classrooms)

Summary

When a school brings in a priest or sister to talk to students about vocations, powerful results can happen.

As with any situation involving an adult making a presentation to children, keeping the presentation age-appropriate is critical to its success.  Each successive level of school brings with it an audience that’s more able to digest increasingly complex topics.  It’s important for any presenter to keep in mind that the Internet age has ushered in a new cohort of students who, at all levels, have access to far more information than their peers of a generation ago.

There are sample vocations talks available for elementary, middle, and high school classes; they will be presented in the ‘additional resources’ section of this summary.

Please note:  the vocations talk materials in the Additional Resources section of this tool are cross-referenced to the vocations videos available by clicking on the tab “Videos” at the top of this page.  Familiarizing yourself with these before using the materials in the Additional Resources sections is recommended.

Program Outline

  • Powerful results can happen when a school brings in a priest to talk to students about vocations
  • Keeping the talk/presentation age-appropriate is critically important
  • Presenters should keep in mind that students of the Internet Age have access to far more information than did their peers of a generation ago
  • A number of resources on this topic are presented in the ‘resources’ section

During the School Year

Lead Time 1-2 Months

Low Effort

Low Cost

Program History and Development

The following are samples of vocations talks that could be given to students in elementary, middle, and high school.  Talks are grouped by academic level. Please note:  you will see in these talks a series of notations in brackets and all capital letters; these notations are not a part of the words spoken in the script – but serve as ‘stage directions’ for the speaker.  For example, these will prompt the speaker to ask questions of the class to ensure understanding…or will prompt the speaker to hold up an item that they will have brought to the presentation with them.  Please note that along with each talk comes a listing of vocations videos that can, at your option, be used alongside the talk in order to bolster your presentation.  (For example, you might want to show a video before or after your talk.)   The links for these videos can be found in the companion Tool 22, called Video Resources on Religious Vocations for Different Ages.

Resources

Reference Materials:

My Favorite Vocation Stories: A Small Collection, compiled by Serran Bruce Newnan, was created to assist in fostering vocations awareness. It is a compilation of stories illustrating how God calls each person to the priesthood or married, single, or religious life.
Vocation Stories Compilation

5 Tips for Preaching to Children:  Guidance for priests preparing to give talks to children.
https://thepriest.com/2019/07/16/5-tips-for-preaching-to-children/

Serra SPARK Helpers©

Vocation Talk: Elementary School (Grades K-5)

Materials used in this talk for early grade school vocations were adapted in part from ‘Lessons and Activities for Vocational Awareness’ by the Office of Priestly Vocations of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Vocation Talk: Elementary School (Grades K-5) [pdf]

Vocation Talk: Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Vocation Talk: Middle School (Grades 6-8) [pdf]

Vocation Talk: High School 1 – High School (Grades 9-12)
Vocation Talk: High School 1 – High School (Grades 9-12) [pdf]

Vocation Talk: High School 2 – High School (Grades 9-12)
Vocation Talk: High School 2 – High School (Grades 9-12) [pdf]

From the Archdiocese of Detroit (MI):
Lessons & Activities for Vocations [pdf]

From Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church (Houston, TX):
Vocation Ideas for Parents [pdf]

From the USCCB:
Vocations Lesson Plans – National Vocations Awareness Week – K-8

““Let us face the vocations challenge with that equanimity and realism which take into account the
effectiveness of prayer,
and which are never devoid of supernatural hope.”

Pope St. John Paul II