As we approach this weekend the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, I thought I would offer a word about my travels with Bishop Paprocki.
I travel with him as his Master of Ceremonies, but also as the Associate Director of the Office for Vocations. Prior to each Confirmation, he speaks with the confirmandi and gives them opportunity to ask him questions. He speaks about the vestments and priests wear and then speaks about vocation. He then turns it over to me, as it were, to talk about how we can discern the vocation the Lord has in mind for us.
It seems to me that at every second or third Confirmation he does, at least one young man says to Bishop Paprocki or to me that he is thinking about being a priest.
Since my present assignment began in mid-January, I've sent out several letters encouraging these young men to continue discerning their vocation and I include a prayer they can use in this regard. I hope to send out another two such letters today.
Simply consider it this way: if these young men are willing to tell the Bishop they are considering the priesthood, how many other young men have not yet found the courage to tell the Bishop? How many are considering it but haven't yet told anyone?
The Spirit is clearly moving throughout the Diocese, stirring the hearts of many young men to respond with generous love to the Lord's call to the priestly ministry. Let us pray for these young men and encourage them as best we can.