Skip to main content


Praying and Working for Vocations

7/26/2005 - 5:15 AM PST

Advertisment

+J.M.J.+

by Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
©Catholic Online 2005

No doubt about it: there’s significant interest in increasing the number of Vocations to the Priesthood and the Consecrated Life on the part of many concerned Catholics throughout the United States and other countries.

Bishop Robert J. Carlson, the Bishop of Saginaw and the former Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Vocations, once stated that on telling Pope John Paul II during the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver that he was chairman of that vital committee within the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Holy Father remarked, “I pray for Vocations in your country every day.”

The recently deceased Roman Pontiff, too, cared deeply about the Vocations picture in “the land of the free.” The same can be said about his worthy successor, Pope Benedict XVI.

So many creative initiatives aimed at promoting Vocations have been tried. Some have been successful, others have not. What has been observed is that Vocations to the Priesthood and the Consecrated Life come expressly from an authentic calling from God and—more often than not—are nurtured within a supportive family and by the gentle, persistent encouragement of Priests, Consecrated Religious, friends and/or some important person like a teacher or employer.

Moreover, the attention paid to attracting more Vocations reminds us of an all-too-forgotten truth: “We are all in this together.” No longer can any Catholic genuinely claim that the reality of fewer Vocations doesn’t concern him or her. Each Catholic has a legitimate, pressing responsibility to pray and work for additional Vocations, knowing well that many parishes no longer have a resident priest.

Young people should be aware that by becoming a Priest, Deacon, Sister or Brother, they not only respond affirmatively to the divine summons but they also answer the heartfelt pleas of so many of the faithful for “laborers in the Lord’s vineyard.”

It’s been said that the Church in the United States will receive more Vocations when all Catholics perceive the challenge of increasing Vocations as one that affects them personally. Until that day, we’ll labor under the burden of insufficient numbers of Catholic Clergy and Consecrated Religious.

Priests and Consecrated Religious share the burden of encouraging Vocations. Holy, happy Clergy and Consecrated Religious can’t help but stir the souls of those who’re seeking their true calling. By impressing upon their listeners that they would gladly make the same choice today, Priests and Consecrated Religious foster a love for their respective Vocations and perform a valuable task for the Church of tomorrow by helping to assure plenty of Vocations.

The plaguing question of why more Vocations aren’t forthcoming in our land may perhaps best be answered by glancing at the scene in countries where an adequate supply of Priests and Consecrated Religious exists. Why do some of these materially underdeveloped countries experience a boom in Vocations to the Priesthood and the Consecrated Life? Because such Vocations are “natural”—they aren’t out of the ordinary. It isn’t unusual for Catholic families in these economically poor but spiritually rich nations to be the seedbed for a Priest or two and a Consecrated Religious Sister or Brother as well.

Sadly, in much of the West, Catholic families boasting of a Priest or Consecrated Religious have gone the way of Catholic families having four or more children. What was once fairly common is now virtually unheard of.

Yet, there’s hope for more Vocations.

The old saying has more than a little merit: We should pray as if it all depended on God and work as though it all depended on us. With earnest prayer and diligent effort on the part of all Catholics, we can avoid the gloomy prospect of fewer Priests, Deacons, Sisters and Brothers. The Church of Jesus Christ in the United States and throughout the world deserves better.

(A slightly edited article that originally appeared in the “National Catholic Register.” Used with permission.)

Contact

Mary's Field
http://www.catholic.org  , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 66616-1125

Email

fathermangan@catholic.org

Keywords

Vocations to the Priesthood and the Consecrated Life

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:1-6
I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
[Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all it ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud looming up ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 24 Saint of the Day

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in ... Read More