I am NRVC

I am NRVC

Father Leandro Fossá, C.S.

Father Leandro Fossá, C.S.

What is your role in vocation ministry?

I am a Missionary of Saint Charles Borromeo, or a Scalabrinian. My focus is primarily on the United States and Canada, but I am also part of the council from my province and in charge of formation for two provinces at the moment.

My vocation team is the other vocation directors that I share ideas and formation with. One vocation director is in Haiti, another vocation director is in Colombia, another is in Guatemala, and two are in Mexico. We have developed a plan for vocation ministry together considering the cultural realities of each country. However, each of us is solo and we report straight to our provincials. 

How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

I have been a vocation director since October 11, 2012. 

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful? 

Yes. I have participated in NRVC meetings, and my Southern California area has been tremendously supportive, spiritually and emotionally. The space created by the NRVC meetings helps me because it is the only moment I find people who go through the same problems, circumstances, and joyful realities I go through in vocation ministry. Mark McGuthrie, a former vocation director of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit,  helped me in the beginning to settle, organize, and respect the value of  vocation ministry. I met him at NRVC meetings, and we organized events and vocation fairs together. 

What ideas have you used in vocation ministry lately that excite you?

I go back to the idea that our inspiration is Jesus Christ; young folks have to be attracted by him. We can't sell ourselves short trying to convince those who do not have a personal relationship with the Lord.

Additionally I believe in always being honest and faithful about our charism and religious community. I believe our spiritual life is our main strength, and I think we need to believe in what we do. We need to believe we represent the church. We cannot fixate on "results."

Guided by these ideas my ministry has become much less stressful. I accompany a lot of youth and young adult groups. I have stopped focusing on trying to speak about vocation and “sell” my religious congregation. Now I try to be present to young people, share when I have an opportunity, and show what God has done in my life as a religious. To “do vocation work without talking about vocations” has helped me grow in freedom and satisfaction in my vocation director journey. 

Do you have any words of wisdom to those who are new to this ministry?

You are not alone. It is good to count on a group that does the same as you are doing to support your ministry. Take care of yourself because no one else will:  find moments for prayer, retreats, and leisure.

What do you find most rewarding and most challenging in vocation work?

The most rewarding aspect of vocation ministry is the contact with the young people. I find young men and women who are authentic, believe in God’s kingdom, and give me lots of hope for the future of our Catholic Church.

The biggest challenge is my religious community. The culture of vocation is not in the heart of my brothers, and what disheartens me is that young religious do not have the passion and desire to work with youth and young adults in their ministries. If we would only show the joy of belonging to a religious community, those who see us would respond.



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