(Imagine that read in an urgent, nasally voice accompanied by twitchy black-and-white film footage and you’ll get the idea I was shooting for.)
This week we ran across several interesting items on the web that seemed to be worth sharing in this space. The first is a blog post by Amy V who is the mother of a seminarian. In part she writes:
When he was in middle school, priests would ask him if he had ever thought about being a priest someday. He hated when people asked him this and from about 8th grade until 11th grade he started saying, “No way!” He loved Jesus though, and the Lord was always leading my son more deeply into a relationship with Him. My son also loved being Catholic, and since he attended a public school, was always looking for ways to defend his beloved faith. So, right before his senior year in high school, my son felt very strongly that the Lord was confirming in his heart a call to discern the Catholic Priesthood with a deliberate and an intentional heart.
There’s quite a bit more to the post and it’s worth your time to read the whole thing.
Next up, a reflection by Paolo Puccini on his experience of the First Promises Mass.
Making my first promise to the Paulists is much like making a down payment to “buy the field.” I was led here from my encounters with the treasure that is the Kingdom of God alive in my family and my experience of church throughout my life. Though I didn’t exactly sell my possessions because the Paulists don’t make a vow of poverty, I did have to leave behind my family, many close friendships, and a job I really enjoyed in Houston.
The whole post gives some great insights into Paolo’s journey to the Paulists.
Speaking of the journey to the Priesthood, the Los Angeles diocese posted a great article about discernment and the care which is taken in identifying appropriate candidates.
The challenge for us in the Office of Vocations is to be cognizant of an ever-present reality — the need for both quality and quantity of candidates for the priesthood. Certainly we have a great need in the archdiocese for many, many more priests.
But what the Church does not need is just anyone to become a priest. Rather, we need those who are truly called by God and recognized by the Church to have an authentic priestly vocation.
Our previous article, “Priestly Formation and the New Evangelization: The 4 Pillars of Formation” (July 4), dealt with the four essential dimensions of priestly formation in the seminary. We need well-rounded, holy men of prayer and study and learning who demonstrate the capacity to serve God’s people well as parish priests. Thus, while a great quantity of new seminarians is a primary goal, the quality of each candidate is also of supreme importance.
Although the article is specific to the LA diocese, it is good reading for anyone contemplating a vocation.
My goal with this film is to reach as many people as possible—certainly priests and seminarians, but especially young Catholic men. I want them to see that holiness is heroic and that Jesus Christ’s invitation to the priesthood is an invitation to an extraordinary life.
It’s a terrific film; well shot and worth twelve minutes of your time. And — even for a sports illiterate like me — the basketball theme still worked.