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What have you done lately?

Not all that recently Fr. Daren Zehnle shared a piece he included in his parish bulletin; I’d like to look right at the middle of it again:

On Saturday, October 16th, the Office for Vocations is sponsoring a “Thinking of Priesthood Day” to help young men (juniors in high school or older) consider whether or not the Lord is calling them to priestly service. As of this Tuesday evening, 35 invitations have been sent to young men across the Diocese who have either voiced interest in the priesthood themselves or who have been recommend by others; I submitted three of the names and will soon send in another.

At a recent meeting of the Region 12 Planning Committee, one of the members said, “The Church needs to do more about vocations.” I responded quickly and passionately with the same questions I recently posed to you in one of my homilies: When was the last time you fervently begged the Lord for more priests? When was the last time you actively encouraged a young man to think about the priesthood? How many future priests have been contracepted, aborted or actively discouraged over the past forty years? Priests do not simply fall out of heaven; they arise from within families of faith.

The Church is doing what she can to encourage young men to answer the Lord’s call with generosity and courage; we know with certainty that the Lord has not stopped calling men to his service. It is, rather, that those who are being called are not answering his call, often times because of a perceived lack of support from their families and friends. What have you done for vocations lately? The Knights of Columbus are right: Vocations are everybody’s business.

From my own experience I ask, when was the last time you heard a homily extolling the wonders of the priestly vocation?  When was the last time you heard an adult tell a youth they should consider the priesthood or religious life?  People will not go if they are not asked. We do not need to ask God for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life for He is already supplying a superabundance of vocations – no, we need to ask for an increase in the gift of spiritual discernment and courage for those who have been called.  I know my wife and I have been very clear with my son on this matter, even at his young age, that he ought to be fully open to the priesthood or religious life if God has called him that way, and so as well with our daughter should she be called to religious life.  Time it is indeed to expand that to other young men and women we know.

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