From a reader:
I am a Youth Minister at a parish and have probably a dozen young men (age 12-19) who are discerning calls to the priesthood and are interested in seminary. I have young priests at the parish, but they are reluctant to “push too hard.” What can we do to get these men into seminary? How can I, as a lay man, continue to give them hard-identity Faith that translates into them continuing their formation in college seminary?
For a response I turned to a priest who is a vocation director for his diocese.
GUEST RESPONSE: Fr “Diocesan Vocation Director”
Keep the young men involved in the life of the Church, serving at the altar, good service opportunities, prayer/retreat opportunities, a few Hail Marys per day for protection of their vocation and allow them to interact with the priests on a personal level.
Secondly, help them see that the Lord’s call can pass them by, the Lord has a plan for our life where we can do the most amount of good and achieve holiness with greater ease so don’t avoid His invitation because the disposition or situation may pass you by.
Thirdly, no one can make the vocational decision for you; be a man and choose to respond to the invitation. If the Lord wants you to do something else, He has to make it clear through the situation and circumstances of their state in life.
Tell the men why they have the qualities needed to be a good priest and the impact their life as a priest will have on thousands of others.
We honor soldiers and volunteers that give of themselves during disasters but in the long run their work primarily focused on earthly results and peace but how much more should the priesthood be honored because they are called to stand in the trenches of hell in people’s lives and bring the light of Christ there.
Priesthood is a noble and honorable calling which every man should want to pursue; Hoorah!