I’ve come across many news stories this past week that relate to the subject of vocations. Here is a sampling:
Nuns say relatives often discourage them from taking religious vows (Religion News Service) We treated this topic in previous posts, especially this one, but author provides interesting commentary.
Sixteenth annual Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta to focus on vocations, including vocations to married life (Georgia Bulletin) I was happy to see that this annual mega-conference is still going strong, and that this year’s event will focus on vocations.
Serrans pilot “Catholic Connection” program in Sioux City (The Catholic Globe) The idea behind this program is to help Catholic students remain connected with the Church as they go off to college. Studies show that young Catholics who practice their faith in college are more likely to attend Mass more often after graduation, become leaders in their parishes, and consider a religious vocation.
Benedict XVI: Priesthood Is a Vocation, Not a Job (Zenit, Catholic Online) Pope Benedict’s reflections on the happy occasion of the 60th anniversary of his ordination.
Transition of leadership in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Catholic News Service/St. Louis Review) Archbishop Gomez identifies the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and religious life as one of his “five basic priorities” as he takes the reins in Los Angeles.
From Frat Boy to Priest: A Vocation Story (www.tampabay.com) The story of Fr. David Toups, a dynamic, young priest in Florida. I was drawn to his “survival guide” for parish priests and his refreshing emphasis on the spiritual life.
Courageous religious sisters continue mission in Japan (Catholic News Agency) Uplifting piece on the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
Catholic News Agency launches new online resource to affirm men in lay vocations “Catholic Men” column launched this week to strengthen men in their commitments to marriage, fatherhood, and the single life.
Sisters kick off year 125 in Oregon (Catholic Sentinel) I don’t know anything about this community, but I wish them another 125 years of faithful service in the Pacific Northwest. And the young nun in the accompanying photo looks very cheerful and fulfilled.
Bishop Aquila’s keynote address at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (Diocese of Fargo) Text of excellent, at times hard-hitting talk given on March 18th at the 10th Annual Symposium on the Spirituality and Identity of the Diocesan Priest in Philadelphia, PA. The symposium was co-sponsored by The Institute for Priestly Formation.
Bishop Aquila discussed four ways to develop receptive hearts in seminarians to prepare them to exercise the authority of Christ: practicing lectio divina, focusing on “the school of Nazareth,” regularly celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and having “a deep love for the daily celebration of the Eucharist.” He told the seminarians in attendance, “In the Eucharist we learn to lay down our lives with Jesus and offer them to the Father.”
And of course, Archbishop Dolan on 60 Minutes (CBS) I thought readers might want to view this, as the show aired during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. (Go Jayhawks!) The program portrayed Archbishop Dolan as a force to be reckoned with in the Catholic Church, as he deftly responded to all the tough questions about the sex-abuse crisis and the influence of the Church in secular society.