Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Vocations boom when...

Rocco Palmo, who writes for the Tablet, has an interesting piece on vocations, he looks at American diocese where vocations to the priesthood are booming. His answer is pretty obvious: it is the Bishop, stupid!
In diocese where the Bishop makes the church a community of faith and takes a personal interest vocations boom, where this doesn't happen there is good reason to be gloomy and despondent about the future of the Church.
At least once every other month I get a comment on an obscure back post, or a phone call asking me what is the most orthodox diocese, seminary or bishop, because someone feels a call to priesthood, vocations are out there, the problem seems to be netting them. Palmo seems to be saying this is happening throughout the world, or at least in the USA too.
In diocese that seem to be in terminal decline, that are beginning to close or merge parishes, the answer to the futrre isn't management of decline, but what I have always seen as the Borromeo option, prayer and prayer and more prayer, with the occassional barefoot penitential procession, an enrichment of catechesis and a committment to orthodox belief. It is really developing a sense of real vocation throughout the whole diocesan Church, so it touches the openness and fruitfulness of the family, commitment to social justice, especially the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and the Culture of Life, without it we are doomed! God only blesses abundantly those who are wholeheartedly committed to him.

Looking around, it seems that getting the job done isn't as difficult as many might think; results are accomplished not so much through leaving the legwork to one delegated office, but pushing towards it from the top and across the board, with significant personal commitment, concerted team effort, a creative approach, contagious enthusiasm and zeal, and basically everything else that comprises the best exercise of Catholicism's "good humanity" as its keys.

In a nutshell, predicting the yield can be accomplished by a rather simple exercise: the more a diocese looks and feels like Fortune 500 than Faith-Filled Flock, the emptier its nets will be -- "People, not paper," they say.

read more from Rocco


Anonymous said...

.....And in our diocese Father?

Anonymous said...

Our parish is being almagamated, do we bame our bishop?

Anonymous said...

Our Bishop started a weekly evening of Exposition for vocations, he always spends an hour in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and expects as many priests, religious and lay people to join him.
It has meant that every parish in the diocese has become aware that it is a priority for the diocese and it is the Lord that will supply them. Little by little young men are coming forward and priests are beginning to ask young men about vocation.

Anonymous said...

Many British Bishops are too busy attending crucial meetings to spend time in prayer with prospective candidates.

Anonymous said...

V 2.5,
Even the Cardinal M-O'C hasn't the time for the Rosary.

Anonymous said...

This is not meant to be polemical, nor personally critical of any bishop, but can anyone any point to any of the English bishops who actively encourage Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations.

I don't mean, do they write about it in Pastoral Letters, but do they personally practice it, week-in-week-out, month-in-month-out. Are they seen in devout prayer? Because if they do, then that good publicity will be very beneficial to others.

I ask because there seems to be empirical evidence from the US (and indeed from some local parishes in England) that from those parishes which do have regular Exposition (even where there is no evidence of episcopal encouragement), vocations do spring.

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