Ways priests can promote vocations
“It takes one to know one.”
Priests often have a charism for recognizing priestly qualities in young men, and can have a profound effect if they invite a man to consider priesthood.
Perhaps the most important way priests promote vocations is by living their priesthood with joy. A happy priest is an inspiring priest!
Vocations must be talked about regularly if a “vocation culture” is to take root in parishes and homes. This means, first and foremost, the people need to hear about vocations from priests through homilies, prayers of the faithful, and discussions in the classroom. Vocations kept out of sight are out of mind.
Tell your vocation story
People love a good story—especially if it comes from their priest. Make it a point to publicly tell your vocation story. How did God call you? What were the difficulties? What was seminary like? What are the joys of priesthood? Help people understand how you moved from family life into the life of a priest.
The influence of a priest is the number one reason cited by newly ordained men as to why they pursued a priestly vocation. Parish priests are in a far better position than the Vocation Director to know they men in their parishes who may be called, to and seriously invite them to discern.
Make it a point to celebrate in your parish at least some of the Church’s three main vocation “events”:
1) Vocations Awareness Week – January
2) World Day of Prayer for Vocations – May
3) Priesthood Sunday – October
To live in the midst of the world
without wishing its pleasures;
To be a member of each family,
yet belonging to none;
To share all suffering;
to penetrate all secrets;
To heal all wounds;
to go from men to God
and offer Him their prayers;
To return from God to men
to bring pardon and hope;
To have a heart of fire for Charity,
and a heart of bronze for Chastity
To teach and to pardon,
console and bless always.
My God, what a life;
and it is yours,
O priest of Jesus Christ.
– Fr. Jean Baptiste Lacordaire