Monday, October 8, 2012


This past Friday Fr. Pfeiffer and I jumped into the priest mobile and headed north to the Seminary to see two seminarians who call St. Sebastian their spiritual home installed as readers.  Confessions went long that Friday afternoon and getting out we ran to the car and jumped on the highway.  Driving toward Cleveland we passed mile after mile of slow, backed up cars driving home after work I assume.  Fortunately far fewer people were driving into Cleveland. 
“I’m sure glad our commute is a walk down the stairs in the morning,” I said.


“Me too,” came the reply.


Actually my commute is twice as long as Fr. Pfeiffer’s.  I must go down the entire flight of stairs in the house while his room is off the first landing.
After stopping for some pon pon chicken we pulled into the CP&L parking lot on that dark rainy night with just adequate time to make it to the Mass.  It was nice being back at the seminary and seeing so many good men who are giving the priesthood an honest looking into.  And to get the pon pon chicken
Gentle readers:  Vocations are out there.  But like plants or savings or love, they need to be nurtured and cared for.  Here are a few stories from just a last couple of weeks around the parish:
This past weekend Fr. Pfeiffer stopped me in the aisle of the church following the 11:00 Sunday Mass.  “Do you want me to take the baptisms and you register this new guy or do you want to take the baptism and I register?”  I had married the parents of one of those to be baptized just last year and so chose baptisms.  We went to the sacristy, me to vest and Fr. Pfeiffer to de-vest, and the gentleman to be registered stood close by.  Noticing he was there without a family in tow I asked him if he were considering the priesthood.  He stated that he was in a state of discernment and that it was a real possibility.
Very recently I was taking Sebastian for his evening constitutional and came across a young man who was working an event at the parish hall.  We stopped and chatted for a few moments and he asked a number of questions concerning the number of years one had to study for the priesthood and what kind of degree I had and a few other questions along these lines.  Suddenly it hit me and so I asked, “Are you thinking of the priesthood?”  He smiled and said, “I think so.  At least I would like to explore the idea.”


Two other young men came to our parish from another parish to explore ideas of the priesthood.  One decided it was not for him but at least he gave it an honest thinking over.
The youth minister stopped in my office this morning and showed me a picture from our trip to the youth conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville this past summer.  It depicted three young men of our parish who are seriously considering the priesthood and stood up when the speaker called for all those considering a vocation.  One of them has already visited the seminary and talked to the vocations director.
There is another young man who stated his intention to submit an application (not to the diocese), and a happy number of grade  and middle schoolers who have expressed interest and we regularly pray for them.
I tell you this only to point out that vocations are out there.  THE NUMBER ONE REASON why young men who were at one time thinking of going into the priesthood did not do so is because NOBODY SUGGESTED IT OR SUPPORTED THEM IN THE IDEA.
This week the priests of the diocese will be with their bishop for three days.  Technically there should be no Masses (or they should be difficult to find – we will have one on Thursday celebrated by an order priest at 8:15AM) and as a diocese we will get a taste of what it might feel like if we do not promote vocations.  So tell a young man that you think he might be a good priest and then pray for him.


Anonymous said...

I tell you this only to point out that vocations are out there. THE NUMBER ONE REASON why young men who were at one time thinking of going into the priesthood did not do so is because NOBODY SUGGESTED IT OR SUPPORTED THEM IN THE IDEA.


Pat said...

Fr. George Rutler (among others) has pointed out that we lack vocations because Catholic married couples have not always been generous in the number of children they are willing to have and raise.

Jennifer Fitz said...

When the topic of religious vocations comes up, my #1 piece of advice for the kids is to consider religious vocations first. Because you can always try seminary or religious life and then switch tracks if it isn't your calling, but if you rack up a pile of college debt, you could be delayed a decade or more before you can get back to where you always wanted to be.

I guess that's what happens when accountants teach the faith. :-).

MaryofSharon said...

While it is true, encouragement from family and friends is very important, the greatest inspiration of all vocations "will be the example and 'personal influence,' in the words of Cardinal Newman, of dedicated, zealous, pious, intelligent, well-formed priests" of which you and Fr. P. are exceptional examples! Might God use you and put in the path of those whom the Holy Spirit is seeking. (From what you write in your post, looks like that is already happening!) Here's a great article from Fr. John McCloskey about Priests for the Third Millenium that is, precisely the kind of priests who will inspire other men to hear the call.