Clemens Blattert is responsible for vocation promotion
for the Province of Germany. In this capacity he has addressed the Enlarged Council of Father General. He
joined the Society of Jesus in 2003 and is now 42 years old. He has just
completed the last stage of formation called the Tertianship and, as he says
himself, he feels full of enthusiasm. In 2015, his Provincial asked him to take
up vocation promotion. He told him: “We don't know how to do it! So think about
it and do what you want!” Clemens found that this was exactly what he could
have hoped for from his superior: this freedom gave him energy.
At the university chaplaincy where he was assigned in
Frankfurt, he asked the young men and women what they expected from a priest
ministering to them; did they expect him to talk about “vocations?” The answer
was almost unanimous: they needed a place of silence in the midst of their
stressful daily lives, a space to take a step back, to “discern,” if they had
used a word from our tradition.
This type of response greatly encouraged
Clemens. Let him tell us: “It was fantastic! In fact they were asking me to
give retreats, the Spiritual Exercises - without using those words. So I set up
a house called “Workshop of Your Future”. It was a success from the beginning,
and it has been a success ever since. And even more recently, after the
coronavirus crisis, I would have thought that people who had been isolated,
alone, for long enough, would not want an experience of silence. Well, no! On
the contrary, we have even more requests!