Every year the Office of Vocations of the Diocese of Orlando sponsors the Focus 11 retreat to be attended by students eleven years old and those in the 11th grade. Focus 11 allows these students to reflect on their lives, and consider what vocation God might want for them. These vocations include priesthood, religious life, marriage, and single life. There are so many options!
This event has various activities such as, the celebration of Mass, making rosaries, playing vocation games, and learning about each different vocation. Focus 11 is truly an amazing experience and it opens you to reflect on what God’s plan is for you.
Before the retreat, thirty diocesan schools entered a vocation poster contest. The objective was to create an ad that can attract young people to discern about the four vocations. Joshua, a 6th-grader from St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School in Altamonte Springs created a “Faithbook” page as opposed to a Facebook page. He had a drawing of a person walking up the stairs and a torch lighting the way. The torch represented God, who is guiding us. The stairs were the path or vocation we choose. The quote on the poster, “God loves us no matter what we choose,” tells us how loving Our Lord is. This is a very powerful message and speaks about the importance of reflecting on what vocation God has in plan for us. Based on what Joshua created you can tell that he spent a lot of time on this ad, and deserved first place!
Joshua’s heartfelt opinion on the Focus 11 retreat is summarized in his own words: “I was deeply inspired on how a spiritual experience could be so much fun. The events and prayerful times made me consider the seriousness of having to choose my right vocation in the near future.”
Article and photo taken by Lauren, a 7th grade student at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School in Altamonte Springs.