11 February 2011

What are you doing for vocations?

Many Catholics are concerned about the current number of priests active in parish ministry and in the number of seminarians currently in formation. It is easy to see that the numbers in both groups are not as high as we would like them to be.

This leads some Catholics to complain and ask, "What is the Church [by which is implied the hierarchy] doing for vocations?" Not too long ago this question was posed to me, as if the Church were doing nothing for vocations. I answered with a question: "What are you doing for vocations?"

The Knights of Columbus have long been right in saying that "vocations are everyone's business."

Vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life do not simply fall down from heaven; they arise from within families and parishes.

I can say without hesitation that had it not been for the support of the parishioners of my home parish who encouraged me to pray about being a priest that I would not have taken a serious look at the priesthood. And I would likely have missed by vocation. I thought myself unworthy, and I am; they saw something I did not.

I pose that same question to you today: What are you going to do for vocations today?


  1. We need to do more to help parents get over their fears of having a child embrace their vocation; this article was really depressing.

    A year or so ago we had Fr. Andrew-Carl Wisdom, O.P., the vocations director for the Central Province of Dominicans, talk to the DREs of the diocese about parents' fears about the priesthood; the recording can be found here.

  2. Gabby4:19 PM

    I've found that something a teacher can do to encourage vocations of all kinds is to teach their students to never be afraid and to never give up hope. That's what my English teacher did for me before she died two weeks ago.

  3. Anonymous3:58 PM

    I have often made mention of the books "Men are from Mars" and "Women are from Venus", when talking about vocations - I follow it up with, some of you may think "Priests are from the Moon!" Explaining that we do not, but instead come from the family homes in the parish!