Following a vocation is truly about hearing the call of Jesus Christ

By Father Jonathan Wallis

North Texas Catholic

6/16/2014

One of the most frequent questions people ask me is, “How many seminarians do we have?” I am always proud to respond as our numbers have been increasing over these past years. There is a sense that the higher the number, the better we are doing as a diocese. But is this truly the case?

Following a vocation is truly about hearing the call of Jesus Christ in the midst of the Church through prayer and reflection. We respond through conversion of life, through charity, and a daily devotion to the service of Jesus Christ and the people he forms into his Church. Jesus Christ calls and does so for our good. He chooses whom he wills. We may focus on numbers, but he focuses on the heart.

There is precedent, however, in Sacred Scripture for keeping track of numbers. In Acts 2:41, after St. Peter’s powerful preaching on the day of Pentecost, we read: “Those who accepted his message were baptized; some three thousand were added that day.” The record of the number of those baptized reflects the joy of the Church in many coming to Christ. Growth is a sign of health and of God’s blessing upon his people.

We should not simply look at the number of seminarians we have as a sign of the health of the diocese; however, it is an indicator we cannot ignore. In conversation with Bishop Michael Olson, he believes we can double the number of seminarian we currently have to 60. This is both realistic and necessary for the growth of the Church in our diocese.

We all have a part to play in increasing the number of seminarians in our diocese. You can help in three ways: pray, ask, and encourage.

Pray that all the young men Jesus Christ is calling to become priests in our diocese will follow his call. Pray also that the men we currently have in the seminary will persevere.

Ask those you meet to think about the call to the priesthood. Ask your pastor what you can do to help with vocations.

Finally, encourage those thinking about the call to take the step and talk to their pastor about entering the seminary.

May God bless us with his generosity. May we all hear and answer the call of Jesus Christ in our lives and encourage others to do the same.

One of the most frequent questions people ask me is, “How many seminarians do we have?” I am always proud to respond as our numbers have been increasing over these past years. There is a sense that the higher the number, the better we are doing as a diocese. But is this truly the case?

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