Years ago there was a letter to the editor that blamed “the Catholic Church” for the lack of vocations to the priesthood. “’They’ should do more” and because they didn’t they feared that their parish would be without a priest or even possibly close. I completely agreed with the author but most likely not for the same reasons that he intended his comments.
Those in the know are aware that “they” is a guy in an office in downtown Cleveland running his car into the ground trying to promote vocations in an eight county area. “He” however, does not make up the entirety of the Catholic Church or even the vocation department. We are the Catholic Church and each one of us has an obligation to promote vocations.
Sometimes people will come to the rectory to register supposing that this makes them Catholic. This is what happens in the majority of Churches out there. But one does not join the Catholic Church in the same way that one joins a local gym. One becomes the Catholic Church.
“The Church should” is something said often in some circles, as if the “Church” was an institution outside of themselves. If the Church not doing enough to promote vocations, then we need to ask ourselves what I am doing to promote vocations. Do we not have enough Bible Study classes, when have I offered to host one – even in my own house? Not everything needs to be done on parish property or in connection to the Mass. (Some of the best work is not.) Does the Church need to be more active in evangelization, ask what I have done to promote the faith.
A lady came by the other day and said that she had a concern about the parish and she also came with a solution. “We need this and I am willing to do this if you would like.”
I am part of the Church.
I am part of the solution.