The key to increasing vocations

It seems to me that if we want to see an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life, we have to start praying more specifically about what we really want and about what we are willing to give.

For example, can we please stop lumping all vocations together?  Marriage is sliding down the hill towards the edge of the cliff, but lets not lump prayers for more and healthy true marriages together with vocations to the priesthood.  Pray for good marriages.  Prayer for priests.  Pray for religious.   Avoid generic “vocation” prayers.

Next, people must start praying that their own homes be the source of those vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  Don’t pray in a vague way that, somehow, men out there somewhere will respond to their call.

Parents and grandparents have to start praying, “God, take my son to be your good and holy priest”, “Lord, take my daughters to be your brides in the convent.”

This isn’t something that should concern someone else.  It has to concern us at home.

Yesterday I was talking with a friend here in Gotham about the numbers of men and women responding to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. She mentioned a fascinating story of which I was unaware. HERE

“The little village of Lu, northern Italy, with only a few thousand inhabitants, is in a rural area 90 kilometres east of Turin. It would still be unknown to this day if, in the year 1881, the family others of Lu had not made a decision that had “serious consequences”. The deepest desire of many of these mothers was for one of their sons to become a priest or for a daughter to place her life completely in God’s service.

Under the direction of their parish priest, Msgr. Alessandro Canora, they gathered every Tuesday for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, asking the Lord for vocations. They received Holy Communion on the first Sunday of every month with the same intention. After Mass, all the mothers prayed a particular prayer together imploring for vocations to the priesthood.

Through the trusting prayer of these mothers and the openness of the other parents, an atmosphere of deep joy and Christian piety developed in the families, making it much easier for the children to recognize their vocations.”

“Did the Lord not say, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Mt 22:14)? In other words, many are called, but only a few respond to that call. No one expected that God would hear the prayers of these mothers in such an astounding way. From the tiny village of Lu came 323 vocations!: 152 priests (diocesan and religious), and 171 nuns belonging to 41 different congregations. As many as three or four vocations came from some of these families.

[...]

Read the rest here.

Some time ago I wrote about a prayer for vocations recited at my home parish in my native place. HERE I am convinced that that prayer was a major factor in the large number of vocations to the priesthood that came from that parish, especially during the tenure of its late pastor, Msgr. Richard Schuler.

A key to the effectiveness prayer is not only its entrusting of the petition to Mary, Queen of the Clergy, but also the petition that God choose His workers “from our homes“.

Vocations are where we live.  They are ours in a larger sense and we must own them.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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60 Responses to The key to increasing vocations

  1. brhenry says:

    Thanks for this very edifying post! Fr. Thomas Nelson, O. Praem. has some great
    talks on this subject. Here is the link:
    http://religiouslife.com/resources/audio-archive

  2. 7bellachildren says:

    It’s interesting that you post this. The story that you shared is also in a sermon on romans10seventeen.org which is associated with audiosancto.org, some friends of ours shared with us last week. http://www.romans10seventeen.org/audio-files/20080608-True-Feminine-Dignity-Spiritual-Motherhood-to-Priests.mp3 In the sermon the priest talks about offering our merits/sufferings for one particular who is in most need of them and women becoming a spiritual mother for priests. The story is very moving. He then goes on to to share the story in Lu.

    God Bless you!

  3. tgarcia2 says:

    My only concern, from personal experience, is that the individual (boy or girl) should hear the calling without being pushed or guilted or pressured into the “well, I guess I should just go to seminary since I like going to Mass”.

    I won’t go into detail, but, I love politics (getting my MA, graduating this semester) and I genuinely do not feel a call to the priesthood, and resented the pressure.

    I’m all for vocations, as long as they are from the heart and not pressured into

  4. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I don’t like those ‘one size fits all’ prayers for vocations, either.

  5. tonyfernandez says:

    Yes a culture change is truly necessary. What is the experience of most priests when they first tell their families that they want to become a priest? I’m sure happiness is not among the first reactions for most today.

  6. kkollwitz says:

    My parish will see its 4th seminarian in the last 9 years ordained next summer. Among other things, having a large and motivated boys-only corps of altar servers has been an asset in our young men’s discernments.

  7. Dave N. says:

    Sometimes I wonder if all the happy talk about a “vocations boom” is causing people to let up on their prayers for priests and religious. After seeing some increases, enrollment in Catholic seminaries has been on the decline for a couple of years:

    http://www.ats.edu/resources/institutional-data/annual-data-tables

  8. ChristendomJoe says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z, for sharing that story! I am blessed, as a young man trying to discern my vocation, to know that my parents will support me in whatever I think God will call me to. Unfortunately, it seems not everyone has the same support. There are parents who pressure their kids to become religious, since they themselves are concerned about the “vocation crisis”, and there are those who pressure their kids to get married. If all parents would just let their kids discern God’s call for themselves, instead of trying to force their own views of their children’s future onto the children, I think that we would have many more fruitful vocations, and less people who are in the priesthood (or the monastery, or the convent) who would be much better off spiritually out in the world.

  9. Sonshine135 says:

    I have an interesting experience I want to share for everyone for the edification of what Father Z has said here, but mainly for the edification of Our Lord.

    On Holy Thursday, I knelt before the blessed sacrament and saw my son also kneeling ahead of me at the blessed sacrament. I felt a wave come over me, and told The Lord that if he wanted my son for the Priesthood, he could have him. This wasn’t a cerebral prayer, but one that came, most certainly, from the heart.

    Later that evening, my son came to me and said, “You know Dad, I am having trouble deciding what I want to do with my life. I really want to teach music, but I’m also thinking about becoming a Priest.”

    I said, “Why not do both.” It was all I could do not to lose it right there. Ask and you will receive.

  10. ALL: Let us acknowledge that some parents can pressure children to do X or Y.

    Okay, we have acknowledged that.

    If you are doing that, stop.

    Okay, did that.

    Now let’s move on.

  11. LarryW2LJ says:

    If my son ever decided that he was receiving a call to the priesthood and chose to respond ….. well, I would feel like my life was complete. Man, it must be awesome to know that God wants your son or daughter like that! In my mind, that’s almost like hearing, “A job well done, My faithful servant.” I know it’s all God’s doing, but to think I had a small in hand in that? That would be awesome!

  12. priests wife says:

    …your first point- being specific about the vocations we are praying for- YES! I find it irritating when we ‘pray for vocations’- they don’t mean marriage- they mean religious vocations- just say it!

  13. DavidJ says:

    I would leap for joy if one (or more!) of my children discerned a religious or priestly vocation.

  14. HighMass says:

    Ok I admit I scanned over this post, but the key to vocations to the Priesthood &Religious life is more Masses in the E.F.!

  15. THREEHEARTS says:

    I was given a penance by a priest who taught in the seminary. I did so. The problem is that is so obvious when you examine it. Those areas where confessions are a huge part of catholicity vocations are high seminaries are full. When confessions are high when priests are busy at their vocation of service religiously to the people, their flock. Why would Christ send vocations to those Blessed Mary had chosen to be her sons, if they are not needed. That is very little for them to do, very little signs of tiredness amongst those in the west. many priests in the states won’t hear them, recommend counseling. How long before these faux heroes refuse to give the last rites as they are not necessary.

  16. Bob Glassmeyer says:

    In our diocese, we have different “pastoral regions” organized to help deal with fewer priests to serve parishes. This is all fine and good – and I’m trying to keep my tongue here – but there seems to be something missing, or perhaps I am missing something. The latter is often true.

    If there is a shortage of, say, penicillin, or diabetes medication, or DPT vaccine…shouldn’t we, uh, GO AND GET SOME ASAP??? Trying to “prepare for the future” or “plan ahead with fewer priests” seems a little incomplete, to say the least.

    Somebody please help me if I’m off base here.

  17. Elizabeth M says:

    I came across an older holy card about a year ago with the below prayer. The front has a picture of St. Joseph and says “The Parents Prayer for a Family Vocation”.
    O Merciful God, fulfill our desire that our home become the nursery of a vocation to the priesthood or the religious life, that our home be a seminary or novitiate filled with the Holy Spirit and productive of Christian virtue, and that we may be God-fearing and pious parents to whom our child can after Thee trace his vocation. Grant that we may never fail to utter the encouraging word influencing our children toward a consecrated life, thus cooperating in Thy Divine plan. Thou hast promised to reward a hundred fold and with everlasting life those who leave father and mother, brothers and sisters for Thy sake and shalt also remember us who have give one of ours unto Thee.

    I completely agree that a child should not be pushed one way or another. However, if I fail to assist my children if they indeed have a vocation I don’t want to have to stand before the Eternal Judge and answer for that!

  18. Pastor in Valle says:

    I come from a small parish in the very north of the diocese of Arundel and Brighton. An old lady called Helena Flaxman (who was, with her husband Ronald, a founder member of the famous Catholic Evidence Guild) used to pray every day for vocations to the priesthood from our parish: she would see a boy server, and simply pray that he would become a priest. As a consequence, this little parish of no more than about 600 souls produced between 1965 and 1991 no fewer than 13 priests—I am number 12. She has now died, and the flood has dried up. God rest her dear soul; I was thrilled that she was in the front row at my own ordination in that same church, 25 years ago this September 24th.

  19. Joseph-Mary says:

    Yes, we need HOLY vocations to marriage and HOLY vocations to the religious life. We also need holiness among the single people as this is imperative in whatever state of life Our Lord wishes for us.

  20. Maria says:

    I have been very specific with my prayers. I have been praying to take a niece and a nephew from my siblings to religious life. My nine days novena to the Divine Mercy now and the past lent days of fasting and prayer were for increase of good, holy and courageous bishops and priests.

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  22. GregH says:

    Angelus Press puts out a great booklet for “Prayers for Priests” that I use daily. It has specific prayers for vocations I try to say daily. Pius XI’s prayer for vocations is astonishing

    I have a special devotion for priests…

  23. BLB Oregon says:

    Generally speaking, if there are not holy parents who are willing to encourage their children to be priests and religious, there will be a serious shortage of priests and religious. It takes both specifically encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life and specifically encouraging parents to live the sort of lives that make their homes “a first seminary.”

    “…But the first and most natural place where the flowers of the sanctuary should almost spontaneously grow and bloom, remains always the truly and deeply Christian family. Most of the saintly bishops and priests whose “praise the Church declares,” owe the beginning of their vocation and their holiness to example and teaching of a father strong in faith and manly virtues, of a pure and devoted mother, and of a family in which the love of God and neighbor, joined with simplicity of life, has reigned supreme. To this ordinary rule of divine Providence exceptions are rare and only serve to prove the rule….

    “Yet it must be confessed with sadness that only too often parents seem to be unable to resign themselves to the priestly or religious vocations of their children. Such parents have no scruple in opposing the divine call with objections of all kinds; they even have recourse to means which can imperil not only the vocation to a more perfect state, but also the very conscience and the eternal salvation of those souls they ought to hold so dear. This happens all too often in the case even of parents who glory in being sincerely Christian and Catholic, especially in the higher and more cultured classes….. A long and sad experience has shown that a vocation betrayed – the word is not to be thought too strong – is a source of tears not only for the sons but also for the ill-advised parents; and God grant that such tears be not so long delayed as to become eternal tears….”
    Pius XI, AD CATHOLICI SACERDOTII, 1935

  24. Spot on Fr Z.

    HighMass, you should read the post.

  25. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Fr. Z, you forgot to mention that sometimes priests give bad homilies. I know, I’ve heard some. I think this needs to be pointed out.

  26. Midwest St. Michael says:

    At our last faith study (on the Holy Eucharist, BTW) the topic of vocations to the priesthood came up. There were all kinds of comments about what some parents have said about the possibility of having a son called to the priesthood.

    The ususal suspects came out. Like this gem: “But I want to have grandchildren!” Or “What if Junior has not even considered the priesthood because his heart is set on a particular career? I don’t want to lead him away from *what he wants to do with his life*!”

    To the latter a very holy, kind and loving grandmother catechist softly said: “When you hear someone say something like this, gently suggest to them ‘Well, maybe it is what *God* wants him to do with his vocation in life.’”

    Spot. On.

    MSM

  27. Long-Skirts says:

    As a mother of 10 assisting daily Mass or at least 4 times a week I cannot recommend highly enough the “Mothers of Lu Prayer” for Priestly vocations and/or Religious.

    In 2005 I started reciting that prayer in our Chapel every First Sunday of the month after both Masses inviting mothers, grandmothers, godmothers and any or all women to pray this unbelievably simple but profound prayer to our Lady at the Communion rail in front of an Icon of the Blessed Mother. Only the women.

    Since then, we have had 3 girls enter Traditional Catholic Convents and 2 boys enter Traditional Catholic Seminary.

    One of our sons will be Ordained a Deacon this June, after 6 years in the Seminary and one of our daughters has been in the Novitiate for 2 years, receiving her Black Veil and making her first Profession this August.

    Pray to our Lady for vocations as the Mothers of Lu!! But remember….you WILL be asked to give up your children to Our Lord, so be prepared to say “yes” when you start “The Mothers of Lu” prayer!

    MOMENT
    IN
    THE
    MOUNTAINS

    Today I spent
    A moment –
    Upon a
    Mountain top.

    A cloud of
    Mist descended
    My watch hands they
    Did stop.

    I heard her voice
    Cry “Mommy!”
    I saw her first
    Skinned knee,

    Then took a train
    Across a plain
    With suitcase
    And ros’ry.

    Now underneath
    A veil of snow
    A root of Cross-earth
    Brown

    She turned and smiled
    A Marian glow
    I gently floated
    Down.

    Today I spent
    A moment –
    Upon a
    Mountain top.

    My little girl with milk of Pearl
    Nurses souls
    Wasting not –
    A Drop.

    SACRIFICE
    OF
    STEEL

    Dark cold and gray
    Under a wave of cement
    Wander steel rails
    Puffs of smoke
    Srpay up
    From steel-gray whales
    He enters
    Willingly –
    The steel groans and away sails
    To the
    Cross-road
    Shores
    Of
    Sacrifice and steel nails.

  28. Bob B. says:

    One year, during Vocations Week, I had my students create a “generic” priest or religious and break down an entire weekday of what they thought this person’s activities were or might be.
    I gave them to the pastor.
    This was one of the few times, that I didn’t have any problems having the pastor visit!

  29. Bob B. says:

    With Afghanistan starting to wind down, there are and will be a number of military personnel who have/will be thinking of the priesthood. I know I did after Vietnam and I’ve run into others who did, too.
    Hope the Military Ordinariate has some plan to assist them.

  30. ConstantlyConverting says:

    “Through the trusting prayer of these mothers and the openness of the other parents, an atmosphere of deep joy and Christian piety developed in the families, making it much easier for the children to recognize their vocations.”

    This is so right on.

    I think many of the vocation problems, marriage and holy orders actually spring from the separation of these two subjects. They are really two different manifestations of the same vocation; there is earthly marriage and there is eschatological marriage. The sooner we focus on marriage as a representation or sign of the Trinity, the sooner schisms will close, marriages will heal an holy orders will be abundant. The start is right worship, I think we agree on that.

  31. OrthodoxChick says:

    Long-Skirts,
    I’m having trouble finding the Mothers of Lu prayer online. I can find the story about the mothers in the village of Lu on multiple websites, but not the prayer itself.

    Might you be able to post it here? If so, I will happily add it to my daily prayers.

  32. @OrthodoxChick: Go to the link Fr. Z provided above where he got the story from. The prayer is at the bottom of the linked page.

    The prayer that the mothers of Lu prayed was short, simple, and deep:

    “O God, grant that one of my sons may become a priest!
    I myself want to live as a good Christian
    and want to guide my children always to do what is right,
    so that I may receive the grace, O God, to be allowed to give you a holy priest! Amen.”

  33. Long-Skirts says:

    “O God, grant that
    one of my sons becomes a priest! I promise to
    live as a good Christian woman and will lead
    my children to all that is good, wherewith I
    hope to receive the grace to be able to give to
    You, O God, a holy priest.” (and we add…”and/or Religious”)

  34. Simon_GNR says:

    With the shortage of priestly vocations in our diocese (Hallam, England), I’m disappointed that the bishop and priests of the diocese don’t ask us (the laity) more often to keep praying for vocations to the priesthood. Don’t they believe that God hears and answers prayer? Why don’t they do more to encourage prayer for vocations? The age profile of the priests of our diocese is such that in a few years time there will be an acute sortage of priests: of the current priests, only 14 (22%) were ordained in the last 25 years, and one of them is over 70 and is now retired – a very late vocation indeed.

  35. LeeF says:

    The problem of vocations is multifactorial, and I think one often overlooked factor is the local bishop. He is the successor of the apostles in a local area, who draws men to follow him just as the apostles did and just as Jesus himself did. If the local bishop emphasizes loyalty to the Magisterium and the pope, then that is a huge incentive to draw likewise minded young men to be priests for their diocese. By itself it doesn’t guarantee vocations, but I suspect that without there can be only few vocations. Wishy-washy “progressive” do-goodism and fear of offending our PC culture aren’t great motivators for vocations. If they were, Albany and Rochester would have experienced the same vocation booms that Peoria and Arlington did.

    In the same vein as father’s advice to be specific in prayers for vocations, we should be specific in praying that our own bishops are loyal and faithful to the pope and the Deposit of Faith.

  36. ASPM Sem says:

    A priest at my seminary had this idea: a priest can retire when he has inspired two vocations to the priesthood. Think of how fast the seminaries would fill then! :D

    Also, reporting in that my seminary has had to turn away some dioceses andd tell them to send elsewhere because we’re at capacity.

  37. Andrew D says:

    The Fraternal Society of St. Peter aren’t in my Diocese but I pray all the time for an increase in vocations to that order as well as for Diocesan priests who embrace the Traditional Latin Mass. Same for women’s orders like the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters: I pray for them and for an increase in vocations to their order. Holy orders like these are the ones that need our direct prayers and our financial support. Have you noticed how the parishes that are closing or cutting back on Sunday Masses across our country are often the ones that embraced modernism post Vatican II and still cling to it? There’s a Catholic Church near my house where the aging parishoners rather than the priest seem to run the place. No one is ever there for confession, there are no alter servers, the music director has an Obama bumper sticker on her car and now there’s just one Mass on Sunday where there used to be two. Coincidence? I think not. Then there are the orders in the LCWR. The fact that they have no vocations speaks volumes about how great a job they’re doing. They made their choices and are what they are. Let those orders pass into history and lend your prayers and support to the holy orders that are re-building the Church in America.

  38. OrthodoxChick says:

    Long-Skirts & youngcatholicstl,

    Thank you so much!!!

  39. MikeCGannon says:

    This is something on which my pastor has repeatedly beat the drum, admonishing parents to pray that God calls one of their sons or daughters, and that you couldn’t hope for a better life for one of your children than to be another Christ or a Bride of Christ. And we certainly don’t lack (though I’m sure there are many more vocations to be had): at least a dozen young people in formation right now, with two more young men heading off to diocesan seminary this fall.

  40. faithandfamily says:

    Even if your children do not have a calling to a religious vocation, that does not mean your prayers were in vain: While we are blessed that all three of our children pursued religious vocations, all of them eventually entered into marriages, and we thus far have 13 grandchildren in the past 7 years from the brood. So we now have a much better chance of God calling at least a few priests or nuns from among them, as the family continues to grow. The prayers will continue, for the next generation! May God grant us the grace of a continual increase in the faith of our children and their families.

  41. profling says:

    With the decline of Catholic education once maintained by religious orders, the advent of altar girls and other women in many paraliturgical functions, and all this added to a generally desacralized liturgy, it is unlikely the Church will see a rise in vocations in the near future. Read Joseph Campbell on the value of preserving religious symbolism.

  42. PadreOP says:

    A real story…this happened at a parish in suburban Chicago:

    After having something like only 2 vocations come out of the parish during a period of 20-25 years, the parish did something shockingly simple: during the once a week when the parish had all-day Eucharistic Adoration (which was, itself, a relatively new initiative), there was a sign placed in the vestibule that everyone would pass on their way into the church, which simply read: “Whatever other intentions you bring with you when you come to spend time with Our Lord today, we ask that before you leave, please spend some time praying for the youth of our parish.” That was it.

    After only 2 vocations in ~ 25 years, after this sign went up, the parish produced over a dozen vocations in the next 10 years (both priestly and to really solid groups of sisters, like the Nashville Dominicans). Not only that, but from talking to people “in the know” regarding the parish’s youth ministry, the youth group in a relatively short period of time was transformed from a group of kids mostly playing volleyball and watching TV together, to a group that prayed (seriously!) together, served the poor (seriously!) together, started going to things like the Steubenville youth conferences, etc.

    Now there were other (good) changes happening in this parish, so it is not like there was one and only one cause operating here. But I am convinced, with all certitude, that a big part of the transformation of the youth of this parish was the fact that you had a steady stream of parishioners who were on their knees before the Lord, praying *explicitly* for these youth.

    Prayer works. And prayer before the Lord in Adoration is extraordinarily powerful…

  43. Don’t forget to pray for people who already have vocations, that they keep them.

    My novice mistress once told me, ‘We pray always for new vocations, but we forget to look after the vocations we already have.’

    She was right. In the 5 1/2 years I was in religious life, in a ‘good’, ‘orthodox’ community, I saw almost all the postulants (about a dozen) and at least 8 perpetually professed sisters leave, some of them after as much as 20 years in religious life. There were some very major problems in the community that caused this exodus.

    I am still in contact with quite a few who left, and I can see how hard it is to live out that call to fidelity to Christ after making perpetual profession and then leaving. I left at the end of temporary vows, so I’m not in the same situation.

    I pray that good vocations will come and take their places in the community, and that one of them will be the Teresa of Avila the community badly needs.

    It’s the same with priests. Pray that they will persevere till death in their calling, and be faithful. It all seems easy when the chrism is still shining on your palms, but when you’re in your 50s and have aches and pains and endless demands to deal with, it’s easy to sit round thinking about What Might Have Been.

  44. faithandfamily, you’re right.

    My parents had seven children, two of whom tried religious life and left at the end of temporary vows.

    Five of their children are STILL married with children, one is a sole parent, and one is me.

    At least five of us still go to Mass regularly, which is – I am certain – the result of our parents’ prayers for us. I consider this a major achievement on their part, given the mistakes we all made in growing up.

  45. donato2 says:

    Has anyone else noticed that the Telegraph article that is in the post further above about protecting the earth from asteroids quotes space shuttle astronaut Ed Lu, and the quote in this post concerns “the village of Lu”? This obviously cannot be a coincidence but I’m still trying to figure out what connection Fr. Z is making. Maybe more priestly vocations = less likely earth will be obliterated with an asteroid?

  46. Bea says:

    It’s God’s Call.
    In this noisy/app-filled world, I just hope the youth are quiet, long enough to hear it.

  47. GregH says:

    I would go sell all that I had if one of my 3 boys wanted to become a priest. I pray daily that all 3 will become priests. Why not? That would mean on my deathbed I would have at least 3 priests willing to hear my confession!!!!!!

  48. Shonkin says:

    “No more generic vocation prayers” — great idea! And let’s specify “no generic vocation prayers for the priesthood and/or convents”!
    We need priests! If it weren’t for several holy and dedicated married deacons helping out, our one parish priest would be overwhelmed in his task of caring for two parishes! However, given the quality of the orders of sisters I see these days in Montana, I am pretty sure that living in a convent here would have a corrupting effect on young religiously-inclined women. Most sisters I have met over the past 20 years have been very self-centered and borderline or completely heretical (as in the Magisterium of Nuns that Father Z. warns us about). In many cases the convents are infested with sexual deviates who molest children placed under their care. This has led to numerous lawsuits and the bankruptcy of one diocese. I would hate to see one of my daughters associated with any of those convents.
    The institution of women’s religious orders must be cleaned up before a convent is a fit place to send our young Catholic women.

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  50. profling says:

    I just thought, if the Church can’t find new candidates, why not ordain the existing married deacons after a year or so of practical training, and send them out as part-time priests? Wouldn’t that alleviate the situation in most places?

  51. Cathy says:

    profling, yikes! There are no part-time vocations! Perhaps, part of the problem is the recognizable conflict in seeing the priesthood and religious life as career choices as opposed to vocations. I can look back at vocation directors in Catholic high schools and see that they, as well, confused, in most cases, vocations with careers. We were never taught discernment in regards to this, we were simply asked what college and what career we might be interested in. I never heard a word regarding religious life, or, for that matter, marriage.

  52. JuliB says:

    A key to vocations is sermons and general religious education against artificial birth control. Until Humanae Vitae is accepted, vocations will not be sustainable.

  53. Supertradmum says:

    In some dioceses, up to fifty percent of those in seminaries are home schooled. The others are from public or non-religious schools.

    Vocations are calls from God, but God has to find open hearts. Catholic schools should all be shut down unless they are producing vocations. There has not been a vocation from the Catholic high school in the diocese where I am now for fifty years.

    Look at the sources-families teaching the real deal or converts.

  54. Supertradmum says:

    PS I know personally a vocations director in an American diocese who is favoring home schooling applicants. Ask why.

  55. APX says:

    Profling,

    There is no such thing as being a “part-time” father. Being a priest is a vocation, not a career. We have a married priest here who’s strongly against having married priests.

    Supertradmum,
    It’s absolutely ridiculous for a diocese to “favor” home-schooled applicants for seminary. My experiences with home schooled children are not favorable. It has been my experience that a) many lack the basic skills required to succeed in a classroom setting because they haven’t grown up in such an environment, b) they do not have the discipline needed to complete assignments on time or the stamina to write. This one really confuses me. Every home-schooled child I have ever asked to list the Stations of the Cross has refused on account of it “being too much to write out and that it would take forever”. Nonsense.

    The most unlikely people can have vocations. It’s been my observation that many vocations seem to come from the most unlikely people. We mustn’t be too exclusive to who we think does or doesn’t have a vocation based on our preconceived notions of where vocations come from. It’s not just those who may be called to a religious vocation who need to keep their hearts open, but it’s also the Church’s responsibility to do the same.

  56. Supertradmum says:

    APX, the question is not about knowledge only but formation. I have been teaching for over forty years on and off and am now. I can assure you that the best and brightest college students I have had have been home schooled. I am tutoring a home schooler at this time who would put most students from so-called Catholic schools in the shade for his knowledge of Scripture and religion.

    But, knowledge is not the same as formation. Formation in the virtues is a daily job for parents and one which most parents, sadly, pass off to so called Catholic schools. Formation means growing up practicing the virtues, praying, having a daily relationship with God.

    I am looking at more and more statistics concerning vocations. In 2012, fifty percent of the priests ordained indicated that their family did not support their vocations. Catholic schools do not either, as statistics show.

    I do not know where you live, but my experience involves working in both private and public colleges and universities, as well as a seminary, one which was accepting more home schoolers precisely because of formation.

    The Pope Emeritus introduced the pre-formation year because so many men were coming out of the world needing more formation. How much better to get it growing up, to become a saint, while even very young.

  57. Supertradmum says:

    BTW, sems have told me that their own moms did not support them. And, I know one nun whose father never talked to her again after she joined the convent. Such are some so-called Catholic parents.

  58. Supertradmum says:

    PPS and I am convinced that God not only tells the son he has a vocation, but the parents, so that the parents can form him. I experienced this myself. My son was not even 24 hours old when I was sitting on the bed in the hospital ward in England, holding my little son and listening to the birds outside the big Victorian window, hearing, also, the noise of the nurses. Suddenly, I was immersed in silence and recognized a “God moment’. I distinctly heard a voice, which somehow I knew was God the Father saying to me. “When you die, I shall ask you one question. Did you pass your faith on to your son ?” I knew that was my priority in life. Of course, I assented and by the age of five, the son expressed the desire to be a priest. He also shared with a priest at the age of eight that he wanted to be a priest.

    Listen, parents and you will know.

  59. oklip955 says:

    Can you also include prayers for more vocations to consecrated virgins living in the world. Thanks.

  60. BTW, sems have told me that their own moms did not support them. And, I know one nun whose father never talked to her again after she joined the convent. Such are some so-called Catholic parents.

    Damn straight, Supertradmum. We had sisters who suffered like that in our community too. It was a real cross for them.

    When I was in religious life, I used to give talks sometimes about our community to groups of Catholics who came to visit us, and someone would always say ‘It’s so nice to see real nuns these days’, eg. nuns in habits. This was always a good cue to say,

    ‘How many children do you have?’
    ‘Oh, I have three daughters and a son.’
    ‘And are any of them considering religious life?’
    ‘Oh, NOOOOOOOO!’ [laughter]

    Yep. Because Real Nuns don’t come from Catholic people’s actual families. They come, as every Catholic knows, from the Planet Nun. They fly them in on a shuttle.