Focus 11 Inspires Young People

feature_images_focus11_smYou might not think 11-year-olds and 11th graders have much in common. But they do!

According to research, children in these two age groups think a lot about vocations or their purpose in life.

That’s why the Diocese of Orlando sponsors a yearly Focus 11 event to reach these students during this critical time. Organized by the Office of Vocations, the event gives youth the opportunity to learn about religious life and God’s plan for their life.

Besides the celebration of Mass, the students from Catholic schools, as well as public and home-school, hear from priests and religious sisters about what led them to their religious vocation.

“I never thought I would be a sister. It never entered my mind. In high school, I was dating and a majorette in the band,” said Dominican Sister Rosemary Finnegan, OP.

However, in her junior year of high school, she took a part-time job at her church rectory answering phones. One day, a priest asked her if she ever thought of becoming a sister.

She laughed at first but soon became interested in the idea and after high school entered the convent.

“I have no clue why I’m sitting here today living this life that I love. Vocation is really a mystery,” she added.

Sister Immaculate Knox, a Sister of Mercy, has spoken about her personal vocation story and encourages the youth to find quiet time to reflect and pray on what each of them is called to do.

“Let us speak often to Jesus. How will you get to know Jesus? Pray. Jesus has a dream for each of us,” she said. “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts,” she added.

During Focus 11 students also tour an exhibit hall with displays about various religious orders and colorful posters about vocations.