From the Inquirer Global Nation
By Jocelyn Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Saying that the Philippines needed more priests, Pope Benedict XVI has advised visiting bishops from Visayas and the Bicol region to persevere in their pastoral care for young Filipinos to encourage them to heed the call to priesthood.
He also encouraged them to carry on reminding the Filipino youth that "true friendship" with God, not the world's "glamour" will satiate their aspiration for happiness.
The Holy Father made the statement during the ad limina visit of bishops from Visayas and Bicol in Rome on Saturday. His statement was posted Monday on CBCP News, the official news service of the Church hierarchy.
In addressing the Filipino prelates, the Pope acknowledged that despite a rise in the number of Catholic priests around the world, "more dedicated servants of Christ" were still needed in the Philippines, a mainly Roman Catholic nation, to meet the needs of its growing Catholic population.
Based on official Church figures in 2009, the number of Catholic priests around the world grew by 5,000 since 1999.
"With you, I pray that young Filipinos who feel called to priesthood and the religious life will respond generously to the promptings of the Spirit," stated the Pope.
He also exhorted the Filipino prelates to offer these young vocations a "well-developed and carefully applied plan of integral formation" to advance their initial tendency towards priesthood and their faith to reach full spiritual and human maturity.
"I encourage you to continue to remind young people that the glamour of this world will not satisfy their natural desire for happiness," added the Pope.
"Only true friendship with God will break the bonds of loneliness from which our fragile humanity suffers and will establish a true and lasting communion with others, a spiritual bond that will readily prompt within us the wish to serve the needs of those we love in Christ," he said.
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.