The following was published on the Catholic News Agency website June 25.
Parents should be careful not to block their son’s calling to the priesthood, new Vatican guidelines on promoting vocations say.
“Even though a sense of respect for the figure of the priest is cultivated in Christian families, it is still noticeable, especially in the West, that they have a certain difficulty in accepting that their child may have a vocation to the priesthood,” said the document launched by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, head of the Congregation for Catholic Education, at the Vatican June 25.
However, “if families are animated by a spirit of faith, charity and piety they become, as it were, an ‘initial seminary’ and they continue to offer favorable conditions for the birth of vocations.”
The 29-page document, entitled “Pastoral Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to the Priestly Ministry,” is the culmination of four years of work by the Congregation for Catholic Education. It draws together the responses received to a questionnaire issued to the universal Church in 2008.
The guidelines call on parishes to help parents become more aware of their role as “educators in the faith so as to develop in the heart of the family the human and supernatural conditions that make possible the discovery of a priestly vocation.”
While the Church around the world is seeing an overall rise in seminarians in recent years – including in North America – Europe continues to show a slow but steady decline.
The new guidelines also identify other stumbling blocks to discerning a priestly vocation. It points to the spread of secularism, the marginalization of the priest in social life “with consequent loss of his relevance in the public square,” a lack of appreciation of priestly celibacy, including by some Catholics, the fallout from Church scandals, and the bad example of some priests who exist in a “whirlpool of exaggerated activism” that can “weaken the shine of priestly witness.”
To read entire story, click here.
people keep complaining about the lack of vocations, but the truth is, we have NO IDEA AT ALL how many men GOD is calling to the priesthood. some ignore the call, others are persuaded to turn away from the call by parents who want grandkids, and still other are scandalized or never personally invited to pursue the call. we could also have millions of women being called by GOD to the religious life, but they don’t respond either, for whatever reasons…
Many vocations are lost because of what Michael Rose exposed in “Good Bye Good Men”. May Seminaries are infected with homosexuals who drive out good me. I know of several who experienced just that.
Other vocations are destroyed by liberal vocations directors who call them “Too stringent or too orthodox” and refuse them entry into the seminaries.
This rot goes all the way up to the Vatican.
Our Lady of the Americas, pray for America!
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
great, KENNETH, now you’re attacking the vatican too, and its “rot.” are you saying the holy father is “rotten” in your mind? reading your posts, the books you reccomend, no young man in his right mind would apply to the seminary, because you paint the church as being so awful no one would want to be part of it. thanks a million…
My comments of 3:22 PM should have read “Many vocations are lost because of what Michael Rose exposed in “Good Bye Good Men”. Many Seminaries are infected with homosexuals who drive out good men. I know of several who experienced just that.
if they are really good men and truly have a vocation to the priesthood they should not let amorous homosexuals drive them out. the history of the church is filled with people who fought insurmountable odds only to…well…surmount them, and go on to do great things. (of course, on the other side, some guys who leave the seminary do so not because they are “persecuted,” but because they are loony tunes, and the church doesn not need any more of THAT – we’ve seen the results already).
Vocations actually start with priestly formation in the home! By supportive parents (first supporting the Blessed Trinity and Blessed Mother, then to the parents children). Parents who look upon and set a fine example of charity and respect to holy priests, and point out with examples of the priest’s great love and reverence to the Blessed Sacrament. The most important job/vocation on earth, greater than any other! In this cruel world of growing narcissim, face book; violent, bad language, and suggestive video games; LGBT forced indoctrination of school children and bad school teachers and peers; parents have an enormous struggle to foster religious vocations if they let their children walk down that pathway. I must agree with Kenneth, and recommend young seminarians be guided toward traditional seminaries where they are flourishing in numbers of priestly vocations. Parents must protect their children’s innocence as long as possible (which is Catholic teaching), and keep from them all these temptations which lead to a disinterest in and disrespect for religious vocations. Parents certainly can’t force their children into religious vocations, but they must foster them daily! Family times set aside daily to pray the rosary together, visiting of the Blessed Sacrament, and attending Holy Mass, plus weekly visits to Confession. Foster the children to get to know the clergy. Home school or carefully selected charter schools help to avoid many temptations alot but are still no gaurantee. I’d like to share this very powerful old prayer for parents who dream of their sons becoming Roman Catholic priests, but it is probably best when their son reaches the teenage years to recite these prayers without knowing telling their son until he’s actually entered the seminary and knows he has a priestly vocation.
A Mother and Father’s Prayer for a Seminarian
O Jesus, eternal High Priest, Who hast entrusted to priests the important work of saving souls, and Who hast deigned to inspire our child, our own flesh and blood, to strive after the high office of the Priesthood: We pray Thee most fervently to bless and assist him, and to make him more worthy day by day. Give him success and perseverance in his studies and constant growth in virtue and holiness. Help him, O Jesus, overcome all temptations arising from the world, the flesh and the devil, which seek to frustrate his holy vocation. Fill his heart with burning love for God and for souls redeemed by Thy most Precious Blood.
Grant us, O Lord, the unmerited grace one day to behold our own child in priestly garb ascending the holy altar of God, and to receive from his consecrated hands the priestly blessing and the Bread of Life eternal. As long as we live, O Jesus, we shall every day offer Thee, through the hands of Mary, the Mother of Priests, all our prayers, works and sacrifices, to call down God’s blessing upon the work of priests, and especially upon our son.
max, you have misunderstood what Kenneth said. Traditional seminaries are not primarily marketing attractiveness. Rather they are providing the backbone that selfless and faithful men see as necessary to develop in order to carry out their Holy Orders optimally.