While some were busy on Friday making a fuss over the significance of the date 11/11/11, a group of about 35 high school age youths from various North and South Philadelphia groups gathered at the Bevilacqua Community center in Kensington on for a vocational evening.

The evening consisted of an exhibit from about 15 religious communities from the greater Philadelphia area; a session on, “our vocation to love;” a panel discussion, and Adoration for vocations. Teens, many from the Hispanic community, were invited to encounter Christ’s voice in an atmosphere of prayer, discussion, and fun.


The theme of the evening was taken from 3 Samuel 1-10:“Speak o lord your servant is listening,” which challenges our youth to actively listen and respond with love to call that the Lord makes.

“It is important for Hispanic youth to identify with positive role models from within our Catholic Church,” said Maria Reyes, coordinator for Hispanic Ministry of the archdiocesan Office for Youth and Young Adults. “(And) the Church is in desperate need of vocations, specifically vocations that can serve the needs of our diverse communities.”

The evening, which connected Hispanic youths with women religious, priests and married couples from within the Hispanic community, was s response to that need to address and awaken this call among youth from the Hispanic community, Reyes said.

“It is the hope of the committee that in the spring, we may also host a picnic and invite the youths and their parents to once again interact with holy people living out their call,” Reyes added.

The keynote speaker of the event was Christian Arellano, a teacher at Mercy Vocational High School. “It is our prayer that some of these young people will allow Christ to have the keys to their hearts and truly surrender to His will and call,” he said.