Don’t look now, but Br. John Eustice, CSV, and Dan Masterton are recognized as vocation ministry influencers. Their recent appearance on the new series, Talk it Up Tuesday — hosted by the Chicago-based National Religious Vocation Conference — is case in point.
Br. John and Dan, who serve as Director of Vocation Ministry and Assistant Vocation Minister, respectively, were invited to share their experience with vocation ministers from a national audience of religious communities. Their topic: intentional approaches to engage young adults.
“I knew this topic would resonate with vocation ministers who regularly accompany inquirers,” says Sr. Deborah Borneman, SS.C.M, Director of Mission Integration for NRVC. “Especially during this era of social distancing, ongoing communication with young adults is important yet difficult when so much is closed.”
Their presentation drew participants from more than 35 religious institutes from around the country, including those in Tacoma, Los Angeles, the Bronx, Boston, Wichita and San Antonio as well as from Montreal, Quebec and Honduras. These Talk it Up Tuesdays are meant to be one-hour Zoom presentations, with a 20-minute presentation, 20-minute breakout session and 20 minutes of shared insights.
Br. John and Dan pointed to a need for greater young adult ministry that came out of discussions at one of the annual Viatorian Assembly meetings a few years back.
“We described how we convened a Young Adult Think Tank to do some earnest listening,” Dan says, “and how we’re moving forward with the summer placements and a young adult board.”
Their ideas seemed to resonate with their peers, including offering regular Masses for young adults, who participate in the Mass held virtually, choose the music and discuss issues facing young people in breakout sessions afterwards. The pair also had relevant questions for the breakout session, which Sr. Debbie says easily sparked discussion.
“This isn’t meant to be a one-way lecture,” she says. “The emphasis is about interaction, making connections and building relationships.”