Promoting vocations through Skype

Technology isn’t just for math and science classes.

For the past two years, Barbara Gilman, a third-grade teacher at St. Margaret Mary School in Omaha,Nebraska, has added a Skype session to the classroom discussion about vocations. She’s connected the class with a priest and a seminarian on Skype and let the students ask them questions.

These phone calls have taken place during National Vocations Awareness Week.

Seminarians attend class at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Seminarians attend class at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Gilman, honored as a 2014 distinguished teacher by the National Catholic Educational Association, writes about these experiences today in the Loyola Press blog.

Two years ago her class chatted with Father Andy Roza, who attended St. Margaret Mary School and currently teaches religion at Scotus Central Catholic High School in Columbus, Nebraska. Students asked him about his favorite memories from the school and if he missed not having a wife or children.

Last year they spoke via Skype with seminarian Andy Boyd, who was studying for the priesthood in Pennsylvania. The students were happily surprised to find out that he like to play the online game Minecraft in his spare time.

Both chats ended with the interviewee urging the third graders to realize that God has a special call for them.

The students sent thank you notes after the Skype call and last year the seminarian took a picture of them which he posted on Instagram, calling them “Vocation Encouragement Cards.”

With that, Gilman said she realized “our activity was a positive experience on both sides.”

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