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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Every Catholic Is Called To Encourage Vocations, Pope Says"

VATICAN CITY, February 10 (CNA/EWTN News) - The vitality of the Church depends on individual Catholics fostering vocations in their homes and parishes, the Pope says in his annual message for the May 15 World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

"It is essential that every local Church become more sensitive and attentive to the pastoral care of vocations," the Pope writes in his new statement issued by the Vatican on Feb. 10.

He speaks of the role of the Church in helping children and young people to grow in a real friendship with Jesus, to increase their familiarity with the Scriptures, to understand the truth of his message and to be generous in creating relationships with others.

The theme of this year's prayer for vocations day is "Proposing Vocations in the Local Church." The Pope says this "means having the courage, through an attentive and suitable concern for vocations, to point out this challenging way of following Christ which, because it is so rich in meaning, is capable of engaging the whole of one's life."

Answering Jesus' call of "Follow me!" is "no less challenging" today than it was for the disciples 2,000 years ago, says the Pope.

"It means learning to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, growing close to him, listening to his word and encountering him in the sacraments" and "learning to conform our will to his."

The Church is called to protect and love the gift of God's call to people to share in his mission and serve as ordained ministers and consecrated religious, he says.

"Particularly in these times, when the voice of the Lord seems to be drowned out by 'other voices' and his invitation to follow him by the gift of one's own life may seem too difficult, every Christian community, every member of the Church, needs to consciously feel responsible for promoting vocations."

According to a report from the U.S. bishops, there are currently 5,131 men enrolled in the U.S. seminaries. The number is up from 4,973 in 2009.

The Pope urges the faithful to take every opportunity to develop vocations. "Every moment" in Church community life from catechesis to prayer and pilgrimages can be "a precious opportunity for awakening in the people of God ... a sense of belonging to the Church and of responsibility for answering the call to priesthood and to religious life by a free and informed decision," he says.

"The ability to foster vocations," Pope Benedict concludes, "is a hallmark of the vitality of a local Church."


Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Tell that to the La Salette Missionaries. Because of my orthodoxy [specifically my adherence to the Church's teaching as outlined in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, No. 4], I was rejected. A Provincial Father even assured me that I was engaged in "evil" for defending the Church's teaching.

And when I spoke with a Provincial from the Vincentians, I was asked how I would define myself as a Catholic. To which I replied, "Magisterial." When I explained what I meant by this - namely that I follow the Magisterium of the Church in all matters of faith and morals - he informed me that members of "his" community would have a problem with that.

Yes, we are all supposed to encourage vocations. But mine, like so many others, has been thrown away.

moni said...

My Dear Paul Anthony,
How sad to read of your "difficulty" with the Vincnentians. As awful as this may seem please try to see God's will in it. Have you looked into another community? The Marians of the Immaculate Conception in MA are not far from you. They are very Marian, Magesterial, and holy priests and brothers. Check out their web page and read Fr. Calloway's conversion story. BEAUTIFUL! He is their vocations director. Not only do they have the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge- they are also chaplains to the Visitation nuns in Tyringham- so you know they have to be legit.
I too am searching and will keep you in prayer. God bless!

moni said...

An addition to my (Moni)comment above:
NO ONE CAN "THROW AWAY" YOUR VOCATION EXCEPT YOU! Please don't do that by giving up. Keep searching. If it is God's will for you then you will find the right community. Some of us have been searching for years so "hang in there".