If you are actively discerning a vocation to the Priesthood, Diaconate, Consecrated Life, or Marriage and you are looking for information to help in your discernment, BE SURE TO CHECK the section at the bottom of the right sidebar for the "labels" on all posts. By clicking on one of these labels it will take you to a page with all posts containing that subject. You will also find many links for suggested reading near the bottom of the right sidebar. Best wishes and be assured of my daily prayers for your discernment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Priestly vocations crucial for the church"

From The Catholic Star Herald

The incoming director of Vocations for the diocese, Father Tom Kiely, is well aware of the challenges facing the church, but is optimistic that there will be new vocations to priesthood.

“New vocations to priesthood are essential,” he said. “We cannot look at numbers and get discouraged. Nor can we put our heads in the sand and be in denial. In the face of a great challenge like this, we must prayerfully redouble our efforts to encourage young men to accept the call to priesthood, confident that the Spirit is at work in all of this.”

For Father Kiely, the pastoral priority of increasing vocations to priesthood is closely connected to the revitalization of parish life now underway in the diocese.

“It’s not a question of choosing between increasing vocations to priesthood and taking steps to call forth the talents of laity and to strengthen parishes. All these need to occur and are related. As parishes are united and become stronger, they will be better able to serve parishioners and to provide for the pastoral care of the people, including youth and young adults. By revitalizing our parishes, by offering the range of ministries that will respond to the needs of our parishioners, we actually will foster an increase in priestly vocations,” he said.

Father Kiely also said the attention to lifelong formation in the diocese also will help cultivate new vocations.

“By revitalizing Catholic life, by bringing about an increase in religious practice in our parishes, by forming all age groups in the faith, my hope is that parents and others will be more likely to invite young Catholics to consider priesthood,” said Father Kiely.

“Likewise, young Catholics, formed more deeply in the faith, will be more inclined to generously and confidently respond to God’s call that is often made through the invitation of others, such as priests, friends and family members, who ask, ‘Have you ever considered becoming a priest?’”

Father Kiely’s own family has had an impact on his vocation. He is a Third Order Franciscan, following the example of his mother. As a permanent deacon, his father was responsible for the pastoral administration of two parishes in the Diocese of Charleston. His brother is a Trappist monk at Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina.

“A vocation is a call to be Christ in a particular way among his pilgrim people, but always as one of the pilgrims journeying with all the others toward Christ’s intimacy with us,” he said. “I am thankful to Bishop Galante for the priority he has placed on priestly vocations and for the confidence he has placed in me to help cultivate priestly vocations in the diocese. I look forward to collaborating with our priest promoters and our parishes to do this important work.”

No comments: