These men come from various backgrounds and have different life experiences. They vary in age and are at different stages in their spiritual journey. Most of them have actively participated in our Life Teen program and other parish ministries. Despite their varied backgrounds, they all heard the call to consider a priestly vocation and they have answered that call. We thank the priests, deacons, teachers, friends, and others who have encouraged them to answer this call.
We thank all parishioners who have prayed for vocations, especially after daily Mass and during Eucharistic adoration. We especially thank their parents who have nurtured and guided and supported these young men.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis often speaks of the need for vocations. He stated, “Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community…. This is why Jesus said: “Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest,” that is, God the Father, “to send out laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38). Vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit.”
As we have previously stated, retreats, conferences, published articles, video clips, and brochures can be used effectively to encourage vocations. However, I believe the most effective way to foster vocations is for young people to see our young priests fulfilling their ministry with great joy and passion, and for parents to encourage their children to seek out these young priests for guidance and counsel.
As these young men go off to seminary, I ask you to continue to support them through your prayers, and through your contributions to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. A substantial portion of the contributions to the Annual Appeal goes to the support of seminarians, including these five men. Please continue to pray and ask Our Lord to give us the happy, holy, and healthy priests, deacons, and religious we need to shepherd and guide the Church of tomorrow. Thank you for all you do to foster religious vocations. May Our Lord continue to guide and bless you and your families.