There are many programs offered throughout the year to support parish and family efforts to increase vocation awareness. Vocation promotion efforts include school presentations, picnics, retreats, basketball games, and multimedia materials.

Please select from the list to find out more about these great programs.

You can also find great prayers for individuals and groups to help with praying for vocations and discerning God’s call on the Discernment Resources page.

Schools Program


The Catholic High Schools of the Diocese set up week-long vocation programs. The week includes an opening mass, classroom presentations, after school activities, and a day of prayer and Eucharistic Adoration. Parents, grandparents, and alumni are invited to join us for prayer for vocations in our high schools. Contact the school for exact times and details.

The Catholic High Schools of the Diocese are:

  • Bishop Grimes, Syracuse
  • Bishop Ludden, Syracuse
  • Notre Dame, Utica
  • Seton Catholic Central, Utica

Elementary and Middle Schools of the Diocese have shorter programs at different times throughout the year. The classroom visits include age appropriate stories, activities, as well as question and answer sessions. These programs also encourage our children to seek the will of God in their lives.

The hope of the schools program is for the conversation about vocations to continue at home. A supportive family is the seedbed of vocations. When your child returns from school after a Vocations Day visit, be sure to ask about the day. Look for the big sticker and then explore the web for more information. Please visit the resources page for ideas to create a nurturing home environment.

Begin with prayer together…before meals, before bed, and of course, Sunday Mass.

Men in Black


Every year, the Office of Vocations Promotions sponsors a sporting event where priests and seminarians play against high school kids and adults. The events are hosted at different parishes around the Diocese. In the past we have done Men In Black Basketball, Men In Black Soccer and Men In Black Softball. Check out some of these photos from our last Men In Black Softball game hosted at Divine Mercy Parish in Central Square. Also, check out some of our past Men In Black Basketball and Soccer photos! A special thanks to Fr. Jozef Mucha and Mr. Mike O’Brien for sharing their Men In Black basketball photos.

We are particularly proud of our Men In Black logos and posters each year. We try to borrow a popular image and put a new twist on it. That way, when someone sees that logo in the future, maybe they will remember our vocation promotion efforts!

Check out our archive of our past MIB posters.

Bishop’s Picnic


Each year, the bishops of the Diocese of Syracuse invite young men and women who have made their Confirmation to join them for a Vocations Picnic. This casual gathering is an opportunity for young people to find out more about religious vocations in the church. It is held at the Church of the Nativity at St. Joseph in LaFayette on the first Wednesday of August.

Many priests, seminarians, and Religious Brothers and Sisters of the diocese also join us to share a meal and their stories with the teenagers who gather together.

If you are interested in attending, please contact, Fr. Joe O’Connor in the Vocations Office: 315-470-1468 or



Throughout the year, the Office of Vocation Promotion offers retreats for young men to prayerfully discern the call of God in their lives. Each retreat is aimed at different stages of discernment.

There is a Day of Reflection for high school students who are looking for more information about how God calls. It is very important to spend time learning to hear God’s voice. We also look at the life of a priest or religious – what do they do all day?

There is a Three-Day Retreat for college students are very serious about their discernment. This retreat is co-sponsored by the other dioceses of New York State, and is usually held in early January. Taking time away from your usual routine allows God to speak more clearly to you. It is a great opportunity to meet other young men from around the state who are discerning. You are certainly not alone in seeking the will of God for your life.

Special Opportunities often arise for other retreats. When Pope Benedict visited New York City, a group of young men visited a nearby seminary and joined the papal youth rally. They would have joined the pope at Yankee Stadium had their bus shown up!

At a Dinner with a Deacon, in the days leading up to his priesthood ordination, the transitional deacon is the guest of honor for a group of young men looking to find out what it was like to be so near to the goal and gift of priesthood.

If you would like to be part of these opportunities, please contact the Office of Vocation Promotion: 315.470.1468 or

Office of Vocations | 240 E. Onondaga Street Syracuse, NY 13202 | phone: 315-470-1468 | email:
Copyright © 2013 Diocese of Syracuse Office of Vocation Promotion