In his weekly column in the Catholic Times, "Grace and Mercy," the Most Reverend George J. Lucas, Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, has called upon his faithful to pray the Hail Mary daily in preparation for the Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations he announced at the Chrism Mass.
Our prayer "should be that every Catholic family become a seedbed of faith in which a vocation to the priesthood or religious life could begin to develop if God calls a young family member to such a way of life," he said.
While acknowleding a shortage of vocations to the priesthood in the Diocese, Bishop Lucas "cannot believe that God will not continue to call men and women to serve our church generously in ordained ministry and religious life."
"The ability of those being called to hear God’s invitation depends on parishes and families creating an atmosphere of expectation and hope in God’s plan," he noted. "Their ability to respond must be supported by our open encouragement and by our prayers."
Let each of us take up his request and pray a Hail Mary daily for vocations to the priesthood.