Sister Christine Still, O.S.F.

What is your role in vocation ministry?

I’m the charism promoter for my community. I promote our Franciscan charism, facilitate discernment of vocation, and encourage and support all vocations for men and women: vowed, lay, and ordained.

How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

Ten and a half years. I was in vocation ministry from 2003-2007 and then from 2011 until today.

Has belonging to NRVC been helpful?

Yes, it’s provided me with training, information, support, and relationships with others in this ministry. Vocation ministry, due to its confidential nature and the number of people entering, can feel a bit lonely, but the relationships with others in this ministry are very supportive and energizing.

Sister Christine takes her own advice about relaxing and makes a visit to Olympic National Park.

What ideas have you used lately that excite you?

We’ve been focusing on sharing our charism, especially with adults, rather than on recruiting. We’ve also adapted the Busy Person’s Retreat for use with employees, co-workers, students, parishioners, and more. We have shared the Franciscan Busy Person Retreat with another Franciscan congregation for their use as well. Additionally, eight Franciscan congregations came together to create a one-page ad for VISION Vocation Guide, and four of those same congregations collaborated on a booth at the National Catholic Youth Conference. This sharing of resources and ideas has been fruitful in many ways.

Do you have any words of wisdom for newcomers to vocation ministry?

1. Stay connected with others in this ministry. 2. Take care of yourself; say no and take a day off. 3. Don't rely only on numbers entering your congregation to measure success. If we help people find their vocation, whether or not it's to vowed or ordained life, we have succeeded.

What do you find most rewarding and most challenging?

What’s challenging is old “tapes” of diminishing membership which have not been accurate for 18 years and competition between different styles of communities, leading to misunderstanding and misinformation. However, what has been most rewarding has been building relationships with other congregations and vocation directors and learning about other charisms in order to better advise discerners.

Contact Sister Christine at cstill@osfphila.org.

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