St. Andrew Dinners
aka Operation Andrew Dinners or Bishop Vocation Dinners
(Project Miriam Dinners follow the same model for women)
WHAT ARE ST. ANDREW DINNERS?
St. Andrew Dinners afford priests the opportunity to invite individuals whom they might think have a priestly vocation or the qualities needed in a good priest to have dinner with the (arch)bishop in a relaxed, "no pressure" atmosphere of discussion and dialogue about the life of a priest and a priestly vocation that would normally not be afforded in the parish setting; they provide the accompanying priests the chance to share their vocation stories as well as to hear the vocation story of the (arch)bishop.This also gives the (arch)bishop the opportunity to interact with those who are considering the priesthood and to encourage them to follow the Lord's call.Time for prayer should also be included whether that be evening prayer or some time before the Blessed Sacrament.
WHY ARE THEY CALLED ST. ANDREW DINNERS?
In the Eastern Church, St. Andrew is known as the Protokletos ("First Called") as John the Baptist invited him to follow Jesus.After doing so, Andrew then brought his brother Simon Peter to the Lord. (John 1:38-41)Similarly, it is not enough for priests to be satisfied with their own priestly vocations. Like Andrew the Lord is asking priests to bring others to Him so that they may discover their vocations as well.
WHAT DOES A VOCATION DIRECTOR NEED TO DO?
The Vocation Director should schedule various dinners with the (arch)bishop.These dinners may take place in the (arch)bishop's home, a retreat center, parish rectory or some other suitable location.Priests need to be informed of the dates and encouraged to bring potential candidates.Menu and cleanup also need to be taken care of.Depending on the size of a particular diocese, they may need to be organized regionally.
WHAT DOES A PRIEST NEED TO DO?
Priests simply invite those individuals from their parishes or respective ministries whom they feel might have a priestly vocation or possess the qualities needed to be a good priest.They should make sure that anyone they bring are of sufficient maturity and moral character.Likewise, all local (arch)diocesan norms regarding the transportation of minors should be adhered to.
Compliments of the Diocese of St. Petersburg