He recently wrote an editorial in the Catholic Times. His text follows, with my emphases and comments:
In the Aug. 1 edition of Catholic Times Bishop Thomas John Paprocki spoke of the trip that he and I made to Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Mich. The seminary there specializes in pairing seminarians from Poland with dioceses here in the United States where they might serve as priests.
The bishop and I are planning to return in September to Ss. Cyril and Methodius to meet the new class of seminarians there and invite them to consider priesthood in our diocese [I am very hopeful for this. The Poles at the seminary with me were men of strong faith and good humor]. This is a great opportunity for our diocese, however, it is not a fix for our priestly vocations need.
Currently we have 11 very fine men in the seminary system studying on behalf of our diocese. I am proud of these men and I can tell you that we are blessed to have them. I have only one problem with this group: It is too small! There is no reason why our diocese should not be sponsoring 20-plus men [He's right, you know]. They are out there. We need to find them. This is where your help is needed [Finding them isn't as hard as you might think. You see them everyday. Just ask them if they've consider the priesthood yet. I daresay you'll be surprised at the responses you'll get].
What can you do to help change this situation? Lots! First, pray; it’s that simple. We do not need to ask that God will bless us with more priestly vocations; he is already planting those vocations in the hearts of men throughout the diocese. Our prayer needs to be that those who are called might respond joyfully and without fear [Father makes an excellent distinction here]. It is our responsibility to help bring those vocations forward; praying for those who are called will help them to speak that “yes” to the Lord’s call.
Second, invite! Look around your family, your friends, your parish; is there someone there who might just possibly make a good priest? Have you ever considered asking him? All it may take is a simple invitation to open someone’s mind and heart to the Lord’s call [That invitation from others was what I needed].
Maybe you are someone whom the Lord is calling; have you ever considered it? [The Lord isn't always calling the other guy].
Over the next months the Office for Vocations will make some new initiatives in the hopes of helping more men in our diocese to say “yes” to the call to share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Vocations are everyone’s business. Are you doing something to help others answer the call?