By Father Ritche Bueza, Director of Vocations

Why walk? Why run? Those were the questions asked by a few friends who saw my posts on Facebook, promoting the fundraising event that supports Vocations.

From June 15 to July 15, we are hosting our Second Annual Fun Run for Vocations, although this year it’s VIRTUAL. How does that work?We ask everyone torun, walk, skip, hop, jump, dance… at their pace and in their own space!

Of course, there are other creative ways to raise funds – selling cookies or baked goodies, perhaps. But, look, these are unprecedented times. The pandemic has made everyone’s condition volatile. Being sheltered at home has brought so much stress to our lives. We all need some creative ways to get some relief, to make our bodies active once again, and to clear up our minds and spirits.

Personally, the virtual fun run motivates me to take my much-needed walk.  And I prefer doing it in solitude where nature abounds. Being outdoors reminds me of God’s beautiful creation and God’s presence in the most basic forms – something that we tend to forget whenever we get drowned by the noises and the hurries of the suburban world in which we find ourselves.

The fun run/walk allows us to pause and to reflect on the many ways in which we are blessed. We don’t have to rush in everything we do; we can slow down once in a while. I encourage you to climb to a hilltop, stroll beneath some trees, walk on the sand at the beach or along a river or lake… and then stop and breathe in life. You will notice the negative feelings, the anxieties, stress, and fears, begin to slide out of your body.

It’s not too late to join us in this experience and reap its benefits, while at the same time promoting vocations in our ministries. Check out the DSJ Vocations Facebook page, and you will see priests, seminarians, and the lay faithful not only praying for vocations but also having fun. Parishioners have commented that they are also thrilled to see their priests taking good care of themselves during these trying times.

And, by the way, we made the national news. Our virtual fun was featured on the Catholic News Service - San Jose Diocese tries virtual running as a fundraiser for vocations. It highlights how we found “creative ways to combine safeguarding the health needs of [our] parishioners with a way to help the financial health of [our] projects as well.”

We are thankful for the many participants, donors, pledgers, and sponsors of this fundraising event. But, most of all, we are grateful for everyone praying for increased Vocations here in the Diocese of San Jose.

All the funds raised will go towards forming future priests for our Diocese and programs to create a culture of vocations.