Friday, July 21, 2006

Young People and Vocations

The news agency Zenit today reports on a survey on vocations published in 'Avvenire', the Italian Catholic newspaper. Its stark conclusion is that one of the main reasons young people do not answer the call to consecrated life is that they feel a lack of support.
Of a thousand young people between 16 and 29 years of age who were interviewed, 10% of them admitted that they had at some time felt the call to priesthood or religious life, but that the majority of them abandoned the idea after a few months.
71% of those who did not pursue their call said that they didn't know anyone else who was thinking about repsonding to a vocation. 70% of them could not cite a priest or religious with whom they could discuss their call. Thus, the newspaper concluded, "There is a crisis of vocations also because there is a crisis of credible guides."
These are sobering figures that serve to underline the importance of what we are trying to do in Southwark. First of all, if 10% of young people have considered a vocation, then we should be very confident about talking to all young people about the call God has for them. We shouldn't hold back when it comes to talking about the priesthood. In that way young people will have 'credible guides' - they will see priests and religious, happy and fulfilled in their vocation, who are not scared to call others to abandon everything in order to follow the master. Secondly, in Southwark we try to bring young men together before they apply for seminary. Our model is that they should enter seminary as friends, pass through their seminary formation and friends, and bring those bonds of friendship with them into the diocesan presbyterate.
Our work is underpinned by prayer - especially the Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations that takes place in our parishes. Please pray for what we do and encourage the young men you know to get in touch with us.

No comments: