Friday, January 05, 2007

You can be a vocation-promotion machine . . .

At Rich Leonardi's Ten Reasons, he has this post on vocations, particularly for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

In the comments, Father Kyle Schnippel (whose site is here), thanks Rich for his good words about our diocese's relative success in recent years, but adds, "we could be doing much better."

I agree with my friend and brother priest. They are there; you and I and all of us have to dedicate ourselves to assisting them.

Pray. Invite. Encourage. Support the priesthood. (When someone bashes a priest, how can a young man, hearing that, find that encouraging?)

Sacrifice. Offer penance. Promote the priesthood in what you say about it, and how you regard it. Support your priest -- yes, even if, and despite the fact that, you find faults in him.

Tell your sons, grandsons, brothers, nephews, uncles, that you think being a priest is swell, and you would be thrilled if they were a priest. Tell your children stories about the heroism of priests. Fr. Mychal Judge died at 9/11, because he was assisting others who were suffering and dying.

When you meet a man, young or not-so, and you think he might be a good priest, TELL HIM. No pressure; just encouragement. You never know.

When you meet a boy, and you find out his name, say, "Gee, 'Father Josh' has a good sound to it, doesn't it?" He'll grin, and usually nod. Who knows?

Add this prayer at every meal: "Please send us more holy priests!" Six words. You can memorize that, and tell it to others.

Our auxiliary bishop, Carl Moeddel, pointed out one time in a homily at the seminary, that when our Lord said, "pray to the Lord of the harvest for more workers," it was one of the few times Jesus told us, specifically, something to pray for; Bishop Moeddel added, "we should pay attention to that."

Next week is Vocation Promotion Week; but that's what every week should be.


Anonymous said...

Fr. Fox,

Could not agree more!! May I add a few other 'actionable items' to your list?

Help the kids 'play' priest and sister. Everyone I knew as a kid played priest or sister - my sister and I played it with dishtowels on our heads for veils. My boy cousins (because let me tell you - we wouldn't have considered a girl to play priest) played priest and 'said Mass' with Necco wafers.

So - how do you help - when my son was small - we always sat in the first or second pew so he could see what was going on. (Think 3 and up) The expectation was you participate. He was allowed to look at religious books or color them during the readings/homily. All other times - he did what everyone else did.

He 'said Mass' all the words (correctly with actions) to the conscecration from the time he was 4 and a few months. I made him a chasable (green with fabric paint for decorating). He had a cheap ($1) wine glass for a chalice. Purple cool aid, ice tea soda - is great wine. (You can even get hosts at the Protestant Christiam book store if they don't like Necco Wafers.) The chasable with matching stole has now been passed on to my Godson and then on to others in their parish.

Why not put priest vestments for little boys in the Church nursery or preschool?

Also - my dear Fathers, no one else recruits for these sorts of vocations without being in uniform (policeman, fireman, soldiers, doctors, etc.). I'm NOT saying you should be sleeping in black PJ's with a collar - BUT realize what a HUGE difference it makes.

Finally, I had priests over at my house for dinner, for visits, etc. all the time. I know your lives are CRAZY but a relationship with a priest outside of being able to point to him and say - 'Yep - that's my pastor' is important and makes you 'real guys'. My priest from my old parish in Florida (a religious) has stayed at my home for the weekend when he drove across country. We went to visit him in St. Louis. My son KNOWS men as real men and real people who are PRIESTS. They aren't untouchable, abnormal, men that he can't relate to.

Now, I don't know if he will become a priest (he's 18 - I'm praying) but I know he's thought about it. He's open to it. It's normal to him.

So - pray, ask, make it real, have them around good, holy, masculine, orthodox priests and we will have vocations. (This clearly will also be applicable to sistes.)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. My oldest is 2 1/2 and we're following your advice already. If we are blessed with a child who hears the call to the religious life, GREAT! If we end up with kids who are good, solid catholics, GREAT!

Fr Fox,
Thanks for the time and effort on your blog.
Dean Steinlage

Ellen said...

My son often hears the comment that he should think about the priesthood. Not that he is a saint by any means, but he is a fine young man who is involved in our parish as a lector and eucharistic minister and is already to pitch in and help around our parish. I think he is sometimes surprised by the fact that this comment has been made to him by not only people he knows, but by people he does not know who happen to be at mass when he is reading or distributing communion.

While I don't think that he has a vocation to the priesthood (since he claims you can't have a wife and an Aston Martin, I think that also means you can't be a priest and have an Aston Martin - he is a bit of a car afficionado), I hope he will continue to be a Catholic involved in his parish. But should the priesthood be his calling, I will whole heartedly support him - even if it means that I will never have grandchildren (he is an only child).

We all must pray for vocations and provide both spiritual and financial support for those who have answered God's call.

Anonymous said...

Dear 40Lovemom,

I too have only one child - my son. So yes, if he is called to the priesthood and answers yes - (the best probability that he will be truly happy is to follow God's calling what ever it is and where ever it leads) then I too will not have grandchildren. BUT hey - first - he may not marry and if he does he and his wife may not be blessed with children (God forbid) so it's not a 'done deal'.

And - I figure that if a priest is is the bridegroom to his bride the Church and all those parishoners are his 'children' - WE WILL HAVE GRANDCHILDREN!!! Have you ever seen the way they treat the mothers of really good, holy priests?

Plus - the current Cincinnati Vocations director is a bit of a car buff as well - he just gets the magazine subscriptions!! (You can't have an Aston Martin with a pile of kids either! Not enough room for all the car seats!)

God Bless

Anonymous said...

Fr. Martin,

Thanks for the comments, and I know you are doing what you can up in Piqua, keep the faith brother! (By the way, when am I coming to St. Boniface?)


Jackie has me pegged: dedicated car nut right here! (We grew up with Corvette's in the house.)

One nice thing about being a priest who people know is a car-nut, they let you drive cars you would otherwise not get to. For example, I get to drive a 60's something Jaguar something, I think a D-type. Anyway, I felt like Buddy Palumbo!

Anonymous said...

Not sure I agree a hunnert percent with your car description thar, padre.

If it was a Jaguar sportscar from the 60s, it would have been an E-Type. There was a D-type, but it was from the 50s and strictly a racing car, never a production road car.

Either way, I envy you, though.

Ellen said...

Fr. Kyle

Thanks for letting me know how your car "addiction" is satisfied. My son, too, has had a taste of growing up with neat cars as we are the owners of a 1950 Buick Super (which my son found) and a 1963 Galaxie 500 (my husband had one of these as a young man and this one was a purchase made in Ohio). I grew up being driven to school in a late 50's Corvette owned by a neighbor who managed to find a way to cram 3 elementary school children in to shuttle us to school.

Like I said, if my son is called, I will be his most ardent supporter. But I really don't think this is his call.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Victor, I was so starry eyed by driving the car that I couldn't remember the exact model. I'm better with Detroit of that era.

(Thread hijack officially over.)