Thursday, November 17, 2011

Guidelines for the Promotion of Vocations to the Ministerial Priesthood

DSCN0868 by Southwark Vocations
DSCN0868, a photo by Southwark Vocations on Flickr.
A couple of weeks ago I was in Rome for a special meeting to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Pontifical Department for Priestly Vocations "Pontificia Opera Vocazioni Sacerdotali". Apart from celebrating the work of POVS, the meeting was also to present a new document entitled "Guidelines for the Promotion of Vocations to the Ministerial Priesthood". Although not yet published, Mgr Diego Coletti gave an interesting talk summarising its contents. He listed eight "conditions" necessary for a vocation to find fertile soil in a Church which "creates, through the quality of its faith and the transparency of its witness to the Gospel, the conditions for authentic and generous vocational responses".

These are the eight conditions as his gives them:

  1. In general a rich soil of Christian life in the ecclesial community. [...] As in the most pure womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so also in the maternal womb of the Christian community, it will be only the fire of the Holy Spirit, received and guarded in an authentic life of faith, that will raise the temperature of the vocational climate to the level necessary for the seeds planted by the Lord in the hearts of many young people to bloom and to give abundant fruit;
  2. The irreplaceable role of prayer which calls from the Lord of the harvest an abundance of workers;
  3. The importance of an integrated pastoral work ensuring those responsible for Christian education effect a coherent convergence in their educational programmes and proposals;
  4. A new approach of evangelisation and of mission that will awaken in young people a strong passion for the Gospel;
  5. The irreplaceable and central role of the family;
  6. The coherent and joyful witness of the life of priests;
  7. The educative efficacy of the experience of service and of a life freely committed to others;
  8. Finally the value of schools and of universities that introduce opportunities to encounter and to develop the experience of Christian living.

No comments: