Sister Yolanda Cruz, SSMN

Sister Yolanda Cruz, SSMN from the University of Dallas,

Teaches Pastoral Theology at the Catholic Pastoral Center in the Diocese of Beaumont. 

The Spanish language Pastoral Theology class was taught at the Diocese of Beaumont Catholic Pastoral Center March 26, 2017. Sister Yolanda Cruz, from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, taught the class. Sister Cruz teaches Spanish Formation for the University of Dallas. The class is offered online, but once each semester the teacher visits Beaumont to teach the class. This spring semester the course is: “Fathers of the church.”

Sister Yolanda Cruz, SSMN
University of Dallas Neuhoff School of Ministry Affiliate Instructor
972-721-5193 (office)
972-721-4076 (fax)

Note: Check out USCCB Vocations


Becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our own decision…. Rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.

—Pope Francis, Address to Seminarians and Novices, July 6, 2013

Catechetical Series on Vocations

The USCCB is pleased to highlight various ways that vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life can be promoted by featuring resources that are currently used by archdioceses and dioceses throughout the United States, or available through various organizations. Visit our page for prayers and readings that the USCCB offers to assist you in the discernment process.

NCDVD New Directors Workshop 2017

NCCYM Presentation – December 2014

Newest Vocation Promotion feature:  Hispanic Vocations

The Critical Role Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Play in Discerning God’s Call

– Fr. John Guthrie; Associate Director, Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, USCCB

– Fr. Brian Bashista; Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry, Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia

– Ms. Margaret Motto; Pastoral Associate, St. Mary Immaculate Parish, Plainfield, Illinois

  • What is your motivation for attending this workshop?
  • What possibilities excite you?
  • What challenges have you faced?

PowerPoint available at:

God has a dream for every person

Youth and Young Adult Ministry leaders have a privileged role in helping young people DISCERN the divine call

Discernment vs. Recruitment

On consideration of a religious vocation by never-married youth and young adults

Those who attended Catholic educational institutions at any level

Those who were encouraged to consider a vocation by any type of person

Those who personally know priests and men and women religious

Those involved in parish youth and young adult groups


For men, participation in youth group at primary school level increases serious vocational consideration by 5 Times.

For women, participation in youth group at high school level increases serious vocational consideration by 9 Times.

If one person encourages another to consider a religious vocations, he/she is TWICE as likely to do so.

If three persons encourage, he/she is more than FIVE times as likely to do so.


In the relationship with youth: talk with them about discernment Rather than staying within our own silos in Church ministry, we learn to work together more effectively. Fr. Brian Bashista, Diocese of Arlington, VA

  • ALL are called!
  • General and particular call
  • Vocation and career
  • All about love, offering of self as a gift, and other directed
  • Vocations are discovered, not chosen. Essential freedom is rooted in a response, not a choice

Seekholiness Video

  • Prayer
  • Evangelize
  • Experience
  • Mentor
  • Invite

When our youth have a deeper encounter with Christ and draw closer to Him, then they can come to know and love Him more personally. The more they are convinced of the goodness of this, then they want to know and love Him more. Out of this, and the joyful example of priests, brothers and sisters, they are more willing to perhaps consider the idea that they might be called to a similar vocation.

  • Relationship of Trust: Get to know one another, interaction is very important, we are in this together
  • Collaborate: Value distinct, yet complementary roles
  • Speak the ‘language’ to foster and atmosphere of openness to talk and actively encourage discernment
  • In-Service Day
  • Work-Camps
  • High School Rally & Jr. High Bash
  • World Youth Days
  • Seminary Visits & Nun Runs
  • Quo Vadis & Fiat Days
  • Speakers
  • Handbook
  • Communication is key, keep in close contact
  • Not a new ‘program’ look at what is already being done with an added or broader awareness
  • Ultimately about Christ, and making disciples of Jesus, not us and following

His plans, not necessarily our own

  • …be patient and alert
  • …be persistent
  • …trust your intuition
  • …know the right moment
  • …keep ‘out of sight’

Master we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing. But, if you say so Lord, I will do it.” Luke 5:5

Ms. Margaret Motto Diocese of Joliet, IL

  • Spirit and Truth
  • Youth Leadership Conference
  • Created and Redeemed Series

“I urge priests, religious and lay people to continue and redouble their efforts to teach the younger generations the meaning and value of Eucharistic adoration and devotion. How will young people be able to know the Lord if they are not introduced to the mystery of his presence?”

-Pope John Paul II

  • The Eucharist is the “Summit of Evangelization”
  • Silence is attractive to youth because it is so countercultural
  • “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”
  • Start of conversion is relationships and trust
  • Youth and Young Adults want to see Seminarians, Priests, Religious and Catholic Married Couples who are authentic, normal, joyful and fulfilled in their vocation!
  • Schedule Sharing
  • Mutual Promotion
  • Frequent presence of Mentors
  • “Vocations” as Underlying Theme

Young Adult Theology of the Body/ Vocations Series Diocese of Joliet Video

  • What did you learn that will enhance what you already do?
  • What is one new idea you might consider with regard to your local context?
  • How can you advocate this approach with youth, young adult or other pastoral ministers?
  • John Guthrie
  • Brian Bashista
  • Margaret Motto

Tex from USCCB

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