Recently, I posted
- Liturgical worship… priestly vocations… Is what we are doing working or not?
- Tradition = vocations – It isn’t rocket science
- Ireland: manmade vocation wasteland
- Robert Mickens is exactly wrong about priestly vocations. Here’s why.
- Disaster in liberal Germany leads to massive parish crisis closures
- Disaster. Vocations. Identity. Liturgy. Prayer. ACTION ITEM and Fr. Z rants.
- “Things have gone terribly, terribly wrong.”
- And a while back
- ESOLEN: How to kill vocations – Feminize everything!
I just read a piece by Fr. Mark Pilon at The Catholic Thing about the vocations crisis. He compares the small numbers of ordinations in large dioceses in metro areas such as New York City and Los Angeles, with the relatively large numbers in small dioceses such as Wichita. He tries to get a handle on what the differences are.
Inter alia, he wrote (my emphases and comments):
At the same time, it’s highly questionable just how truly committed to Catholic education most of the schools are in large archdioceses and even in smaller dioceses. How many of these local churches effectively oversee the hiring of faculty to assure that the Catholic educators are themselves practicing and faithful Catholics? Students being educated in a school where there is a pro forma, watered-down religion curriculum, and who are also well aware that some or many of their other teachers either disagree with Church teaching or don’t practice their faith at all, are surely less likely to be the kind of committed Catholics from whom vocations will emerge. So, the study might just look at how many dioceses are insisting that to teach in a Catholic school, the faculty member must be a faithful Catholic who actually practices the faith. [And what to say about their families?]
Another datum from these two small dioceses is that they have had a succession of bishops who themselves were firmly committed to building a strong and affordable Catholic education system and who were personally involved to one degree or another in the vocation program itself. Of course, that involvement is easier in smaller dioceses, [I’m not so sure that’s true. Priorities must be set.] but given the small number of candidates today in large archdioceses, certainly some involvement will be more possible today than in previous times. The first bishop of my own diocese, Thomas Welsh, was very much involved in strengthening the religious curriculum of the schools he inherited, and he was very directly involved in the vocations program. He had been the rector of the major seminary in Philadelphia and understood well the needs of young men studying for the priesthood – including some regular personal contact and support from their bishop. That’s one reason why the Arlington Diocese does not have a priest shortage.
Read the rest there.
The crisis of priestly vocations is largely artificial. It has, in some cases, been manufactured.
Tradition is the counter-measure to the crisis. It works where it is tried.
Also, we need to pray explicitly for vocations and keep the sound of that prayer ringing constantly in the ears of parents and their sons. Again, I propose that every parish adopt the following prayer, to be prayed while kneeling by the entire congregation at every Sunday Mass immediately after the Gospel.
Use it exactly as it is. Do not change a word, except to substitute “diocese” for “archdiocese”.
LEADER: Please kneel for our prayer for vocations. Let us ask God to give worthy priests, brothers and sisters to His Holy Church.
ALL: O God, we earnestly beseech Thee to bless this (arch)diocese with many priests, brothers and sisters, who will gladly spend their entire lives to serve Thy Church and to make Thee known and loved.
LEADER: Bless our families. Bless our children.
ALL: Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.
LEADER: Mary, Queen of the Clergy!
ALL: Pray for us. Pray for our priests and religious. Obtain for us many more.
A friend back home – whom I miss rather a lot – sent me one of the original holy cards, which I prize.
I also recommend that you get copies of this as gifts for your priests and for seminarians.