+32 (2) 265.01.56 ucesm@ucesm.net


On the afternoon of 10th June 2024, an Assembly of the UCESM Vocations Apostolate Network (UCESM_VAN) took place. A total of 29 people participated in this meeting, including a good number of “National Referents” of Vocations Ministry linked to 19 Conferences of Major Superiors of Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, England and Wales, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland (female and male), Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland (French-speaking). Some of these Conferences were represented by two people. Three people from the Executive Committee and the Secretariat of UCESM were also present.
In his initial greeting, the UCESM-President Fr Jānis Meļņikovs SJ thanked the work of this group which, since its beginning in May 2021, has been having different organisational and formative meetings online, around the Apostolate of vocations. And he asked the “National Referents” to inform the Presidents and Secretaries of their respective Conferences of Religious of what is being worked on in this group, in order to promote this work.
After the opening prayer we had the intervention of a guest speaker: Mr. Gerard Gallagher, Interim Secretary General of the Association of Missionary and Religious Leaders of Ireland (AMRI). For 20 minutes he shared on “JUBILEE 2025: how to prepare the young people and the religious who will accompany them”, answering also several questions from the audience.
Then, the coordinator of the “Core Group” of the ” Vocations Apostolate Network”, Fr. Luis Manuel Suárez CMF, spoke about “FRAMING UCESM_VAN – our being and action”: a synthesis of the road travelled in these years, the contributions received from the last General Assembly of UCESM in Vranov (Czech Republic), and the results of a previous survey that was sent to the National Referents, from which 18 responses were received.
The central part of the Assembly consisted in sharing GOOD PRACTICES, among the proposals received. In particular, there were several interventions on vocational teamwork in various Conferences (Sr. Katja Balažic FMA, from Slovenia; Sr. Lina Santantonio SJBP, from Italy; and Mrs. Margaret Cartwright from “Vocations Ireland”). And also some significant experiences and collaboration between institutions (Sr Gabriela Lungu FCJ, from Romania; Sr Catharina Al, OP from the Netherlands; and Sr Loreta PAMI, from Lithuania). Due to lack of time, some experiences of collaboration in vocation ministry with Bishops’ Conferences in various countries were left pending.
In the final part of the meeting, we had a time of LINGUISTIC GROUPS, sharing ideas around the preparation of the Jubilee 2025, as well as common formative aspects that can help us in the work of our Conferences.
A good meeting that helps to continue the work around the Vocations Apostolate.

 The content of the Assembly can be viewed at the following links:
– Original audio (English and Italian): https://youtu.be/twyvMGEdS0o
– Audio in English: https://youtu.be/lSPaziGPwL0
– Audio in Italian: https://youtu.be/4qkcoqyviM8