DIOCESAN VOCATION PROJECT
Stop, Recharge, Host And... this is how it is presented P.R.A.Y StationThis vocational project, launched in the Diocese of Bilbao, has completed its first year accompanying people with very different situations in the process of vocational discernment, whether it be for the laity, the priesthood, the consecrated life or entry into a religious congregation.
Borja Uriarte, one of the people in charge of this project in the diocese of Bilbao, "P.R.A.Y. Station was born out of the desire to propose and work on the vocational dimension among young people in the diocese of Bilbao.
In a closer and more contemporary way, taking care of the communion between vocations. The original idea was the same project landed in the parishes. And thus, to accompany groups where the concerns for any vocation in the Church can be present.
Knowing that in common we have the vocation of being baptized. And from there to be able to share testimony and prayer".
A project with a double dimension: group and personal which, although it was originally conceived especially for young people between 16 and 35 years of age, also serves, and this has been the experience, to respond to the questions that other people, perhaps older, can ask themselves about vocation and their path within the Church. In this sense, Uriarte points out, "Throughout the course and the various sessions, we met adults who also wanted to participate in these meetings. Certainly, vocational discernment does not have to have an age. Vocation is always present and so is being able to grow in it. At the beginning, this project was dedicated only to young people. And the idea is that it will continue to be dedicated to them. However, it is open to those who want to deepen their vocation.
P.R.A.Y Station is articulated in a series of monthly meetings, lasting an hour and a half. This year, because of the pandemic, these meetings have been held virtually and, on occasion, the priest points out, "at some point we have been able to experience it in person". with all the pertinent sanitary measures.
Despite the difficulty of the online meetings, as Borja Uriarte points outWe were able to generate spaces where we could share the testimony of people who live the different vocations in the Church and to pray with what they proposed to us. Each testimony was linked to a moment of prayer, and the truth, to be able to pray with the testimony of a father of a family, a permanent deacon, a priest, a religious, and so many people who shared their vocation has been a gift from God.
During the course, participants from P.R.A.Y Station were able to learn about and reflect on various vocations within the Church: marriage and family, religious, missionary. Especially interesting, for example, was the testimony of a Mercedarian sister from a convent of the diocese who shared first hand her experience as a member of the contemplative life at present. Joseba Segura, Bishop of Bilbao, who spoke about missionary life, a work that he himself carried out between 2006 and 2017 in Ecuador, working pastorally in Quito.
There have been many positive experiences during this first year of P.R.A.Y Station. "It has been a course that has surprised us." Uriarte points out. "We have been learning as the sessions progressed. We have found that there was a desire to talk about vocation, to share testimonies, to pray in a vocational key... We are happy for the space that has been generated, now we have to take care of it and keep it alive and thus be able to reach more people little by little".
P.R.A.Y Station wants to be a space for the approach of vocation in a broad sense and, later on, singularized in the different ways that exist in the Church, in order to "put legs" to the sanctifying call of each Christian. Despite the amount of information that we can find today about vocation, even today, we can find too many "watertight compartments" or ignorance of this wealth of charisms that make up the Church. Borja Uriarte points out that, in fact, "we do not know what we are talking about.we have found that there is a certain lack of knowledge. One of the objectives of this project was to bring all vocations into communion. To show that they accompany each other and that they are all present in the Church and that the sum of all of them generates an impressive richness. Much of what we ended up sharing in each session was precisely what you ask. It was surprising how concrete each vocation was. And especially those that we are not used to seeing on a daily basis, such as the contemplative life and the permanent diaconate.
After the first start-up, the organizers and promoters of the P.R.A.Y Station look to the future with hope and illusion. As they themselves point out "As in all these things, if they are of God, they will go ahead. We have to work on it and accompany it. P.R.A.Y. Station wants to be a space in different parishes where young people can come together to deepen and share their vocation. Where a personal accompaniment can be proposed from the vocation of each one. It wants to be an experience with a beginning and an end, in which the person goes through in different sessions all the vacations present in the church where one can pray with the testimony of each vocation and where one can discover that vocation is a gift called to put it at the service of others"..
How to participate in P.R.A.Y. Station? The reality is that, although due to the circumstances, last year's course was not widely publicized, the reception by the young diocesans has been very positive. This year, in addition to giving it more publicity, we are planning a mixed experience - (face-to-face / online) to facilitate the participation of those who are interested.
In social networks, they have a presence on Instagram and also have a small section on the website of the Diocese of Bilbao, where you can find the mail to request invitations to the sessions.
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