Shortage of Priests...We are asking the wrong question


#1

In the US and across the globe we are experiencing a shortage of Priests. Since our new Pope media outlets and people I have talked to personally think the Vatican should allow Priests to marry etc etc.

My thought is, why are we waiting for some else to tell us to carry on and grow our faith? The question should be, what can I do to ensure we have more priests in the future?? My question for the blamers is “Who have you encouraged to consider religious life?” When choosing a career, how many of your children knew religious life is an option? The answer resides in us “The Church”. It is our duty as called by JPII to evangelize and spread the gospel. Not another decree from Rome.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
Eric


#2

There is no hereditary priesthood. Each generation must draw its priests from its own ranks. How many are being called but not answering? It is only in the U.S. and Europe that there is a priest shortage. In other countries the seminaries are full.


#3

Perhaps, the question should be, why does a priest have to be a young man, why not a guy who’s 35 and maybe has a little bit of debt?


#4

[font=comic san ms]Seminaries might be full, but how many actually become priests? Out of 50 seminarians in one seminary here in the Philippines that enter, only 2 or 3 get ordained. 2 or 3! That’s less than 10% of the number who entered. The shortage of vocations is woeful.[/font]


#5

Its coming close to the end of my first year here in Mount Angel Seminary in beautiful Oregon. And boy, what a ride its been, even in this short time. Looking back on all the different twists and turns that finally led me to say “yes” to God’s invitation, i can only smile with glee because ultimately i realize God is driving. It took me awhile to let go of the steering wheel, but once i did, my life was transformed.

Yes, the number of priests are declining while the number of men entering seminarians cannot keep up. But i know God is working even now in the hearts of countless men across the world, just as He did for me as i discerned. Ever since i entered “Priest boot-camp” (as my dear friend Elie refers to it), ive been randomly coming across other guys, young and old, pondering the same vocation. It’s amazing! I have a feeling its providential that God would allow my path to cross with these men to offer a sense of solidarity in their discernment, which often can be lonely road in our material world.

As i get to know my brother seminarians here, a joy radiates from our discussions. We’re all aware of the climate of the shrinking priesthood in America and Europe and yet we go foward with optimism, confident knowing if indeed we are privilaged to be ordained soldiers of light, we march on with a rosary in one hand and a worn out copy of the Liturgy of the Hours in the other.

Indeed, we are asking the wrong question. A fellow seminarian once commented that “we dont have a vocation crisis, we have a faith crisis.” And there is truth to that. I believe if we help people strive closer to God, vocations will come.

I think Fr. Corapi also hit the issue right on the nose when someone asked him about the “vocation crisis” and he answered back, “How many times have you prayed for vocations?” How of us actually do consistently pray for more workers in the vineyard?

Pray for it, and they will come!

Totus Tuus,
brian


#6

It is great to hear that you are following your calling. I wish you the best of luck.

I do agree that the shortage of priests and nuns has alot to do with parents and society never encouraging individuals to follow a vocation.

Karen


#7

Crisis of faith, this is the chapter, not crisis of vocations


#8

[quote=gelsbern]Perhaps, the question should be, why does a priest have to be a young man, why not a guy who’s 35 and maybe has a little bit of debt?
[/quote]

Alot of dioceses they are allowed to. Where are they not able to??? One of the priests I new best in high school, was ordainded in his late 50s near 60 after having his marriage annuled. He believed he should have been a priest all along, and now, he wants to serve God ffor the rest of his life.

Thank you for fanswering and perservering in the Call. A crisis of Faith is accurate. And prayer is greatly needed. I am always reminded of a line from the late Bishop Sheen. The great tragedy concerning human suffering is not that there is so much of it. The real tragedy is that apparently so much of it is wasted. So much of it apparently is not coped with according to God’s will.

The saddest part is that the cycle perpetuates itself. The fewer good priests and religious there are, the fewer there will be in the next generation barring Grace or Divine Intervention. And as I remember fondly from one vocations directed at a seminary: “We don’t want priests, we want Holy priests.” Thanks and God Bless.


#9

[font=Verdana]I think Fr. Corapi also hit the issue right on the nose when someone asked him about the “vocation crisis” and he answered back, “How many times have you prayed for vocations?”

ITA i not only pray for vocations but tell God that I am totally open to His will of vocations coming from the fruits of my own family[/font]


#10

Thats fantastic and i commend you tremendously for that. We need for families like yours. When i told my mother last summer i was entering the seminary, she literally cried, not tears of happiness but of fear. She wanted her son to walk down a more treaded path. Unfortunately, my mothers attitude is more common than not in a lot famillies. But as the year progressed, (PRAISE GOD!) she has finally warmed up to the fact that the Lord might be calling me to serve in this ministry.

Encouraging families to be open to a religious vocation needs to be preached more from the pulpit. I cannot remember ever once hearing a homily about it.

It’s scary to offer your son or daughter up to the Lord but i think we can all agree, God knows what He’s doing if he indeed requests.


#11

I cannot conceive of a single decree the Holy Father might make that would substantially increase vocations. Allowing priests to marry is not the answer that will work wonders. There are a lot of us faithful Catholics out here that are praying and struggling just to keep our kids in the Church let alone have them respond to a call to the priesthood. We are almost as poor as Europe at providing a society that is user friendly to Christians. You ain’t reaching for the mountain peak when you are clawing at the edge of the abyss to keep from sliding over.


#12

I think that we must offer young people the Cross. I honestly believe if we remember the words of Jesus (“If I be lifted up, I shall draw all men unto Me”) and proclaim Christ crucified to the world, people would convert AND the vocations crisis would pass.


#13

[quote=rwoehmke] There are a lot of us faithful Catholics out here that are praying and struggling just to keep our kids in the Church let alone have them respond to a call to the priesthood. QUOTE]

I agree with you, there are a lot of temptations and distractions that lead the youth to stray from the flock. There probably isnt a more challenging time to maintain a strong Catholic family.

However, if we dont encourage the younger generation to be even open to the ideal of a religious life, should we be surprised about the shrinking priesthood? If we dont even show them the door, how will they even know where it is to answer if Jesus comes knocking? Would Pope John Paul the Great had been the same man if he’s family did not encourage him?

The call to vocation is watered with prayer but is nurtured in the home.
[/quote]


#14

…pray that God gives me the strength to accept the priestly vocation if he is calling me to that

p.s. andglicans have a similar shortage, and they allow just about ANYONE to become a prest (married, openly homosexual)


#15

[quote=adventistnomore]…pray that God gives me the strength to accept the priestly vocation if he is calling me to that

[/quote]

Amen.

Hmm… coincidence?


#16

[quote=rwoehmke]I cannot conceive of a single decree the Holy Father might make that would substantially increase vocations. Allowing priests to marry is not the answer that will work wonders. There are a lot of us faithful Catholics out here that are praying and struggling just to keep our kids in the Church let alone have them respond to a call to the priesthood. We are almost as poor as Europe at providing a society that is user friendly to Christians. You ain’t reaching for the mountain peak when you are clawing at the edge of the abyss to keep from sliding over.
[/quote]

that last sentence impresses me! been there, done that, am doing that… fingernails get worn out rather quickly.


#17

[quote=adventistnomore]…pray that God gives me the strength to accept the priestly vocation if he is calling me to that

You will indeed be in my prayers brother! Im just finishing my first year here at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon. In this short amount of time, i know im exactly where God wants me to be at this moment in my life. But prior to finally saying “YES” to his invitation, my heart was torn with this obvious calling in my heart and my needs to live my own life. Well i wont give you my whole vocation story here but i just want to let you know youre not alone. Ever since ive entered the seminary, people have been confiding in me their own possible religious calling. The Holy Spirit is working overtime here on the West Coast!

When i first heard the Lord calling me years ago, i would say a little prayer every night…“Lord, prepare my heart.” And HE answered me.

Now here i am, finishing my first year of seminary.

Keep striving closer to God my brother, and i know He will give you the grace to answer.

P.S. If you ever wanna know more about seminary life or my journey to get here, my email is bjsoliven@yahoo.com

Totus Tuus,
brians
[/quote]


#18

[quote=JimG]There is no hereditary priesthood.
[/quote]

:nope:

XPUCTOCb BOCKPEC!


Not exactly correct…

We used to have a priest at my parish who was a 5th generation priest, his father was a priest, his grandfather was a priest, his great-grandfather was a priest… back for 5 GENRATIONS!!!

One of my best friend’s is a priest, his brother is a priest, his sister a nun, his father is a priest who was ordained at a kitchen table in the middle of the night during the Communist times in Ukraine when the Ukrainian Catholic church was illegal.

Oh, my friend’s grandfather was also a priest who died in exile in a labor camp in Siberia because he was a priest…

It is my prayer that Our Risen Lord Jesus, will bless my friend and his wife with sons and daughters who will carry on the tradition of giving their sons and daughters to the Church!

FELDAMADT KRISZTUS!


#19

The vocations crisis is not just a problem in regard to the priesthood. We ALL have a vocation, and there is real crisis in the fact that so many do not see their lives this way!

As a married person, I have a vocation as a wife (and possibly, hopefully, as a mother.) Married life is the way that God challenges me to faithfullness; this is my work and I do it because it is the work He called me to. I strive to be faithful at my vocation, the way I would if I were a religious, single, or living a consecrated life.

People need to hear that their life is a vocation, and find ways to understand and live that reality. The crisis of priestly vocations would also find an answer in a Church that lived and taught this way, because families would serve as examples of submission to God’s will and this would be a model for young people to consider faithfullness that may lead them to religious life.

If you want to be a part of ending a vocations crisis, you need to be a part of understanding and appreciating the MANY vocations God can call us to!


#20

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