St. Isaac Jogues School was host to over 2,000 seventh and eighth graders from over 42 different schools from around the Diocese of Joliet and the Archdiocese of Chicago for the fifth annual “Called By Name” Vocations and Discipleship Workshop on Tuesday, November 6th, Wednesday, November 7th, and Thursday, November 8th. The workshops gave 7th and 8th graders from the diocese a better understanding about the different options when responding to God’s call and to offer an environment to reflect on these choices and deepen their relationship to Jesus Christ.
Bishop Conlon opened the conference on Tuesday with a message about responding to God's call.
Anthony Redfield, joined by Seminarian Kyle Langan and Tom Langan, led the students in Praise and Worship music before the students were introduced to the main speakers of the day. Jimmy Mitchell, who speaks to middle school, high school, and college students all around the country, was joined by Father Ryan Adorjan as they spoke to the 7th and 8th graders in a fun and engaging manner. They also allowed time for students to ask questions about their faith. All the students who attended received a Faith Journal and were prayerfully led through Lectio Divina....a form of prayer that is used when reading Scripture.....this form of prayer is intended to nourish the soul and lead one into a deeper relationship with the Lord.
The middle of the day consisted of four break out sessions: Basketball and Vocation Stories by the seminarians and various religious sisters, brothers, and priests; the Vocations Fair where students were able to learn about over 30 religious communities in the Parish Center and ask questions and get to know the difference between orders; Catholic Trivia Challenge which was a friendly competition between schools consisting of questions about their Catholic knowledge; and Father Ryan and Seminarian Kyle Langan introduced the Faith Journal and Lectio Divina to students in small groups. Confessions were offered during most of the day.
The day culminated with Benediction and Adoration in the church led by priests and seminarians. Praise and Worship music set the tone for the students to pray and reflect on all that they had been exposed to during the day. The workshops seem to have been a great success! Plans are already underway to bring the conference to all the schools of the Diocese of Joliet next year - hosted at SIJ!
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