Saturday, June 05, 2010

Closing the Year for Priests

On this closing day of the Year for Priests, I have two priestly "vocation stories," over a hundred years apart. The first is from our Founder, who tells his story in the third person:
One day in the 1890-1891 school year, his teacher...asked the pupils what they wanted to do in the future... He was the second to be asked. He reflected for a while; then, feeling enlightened, he answered resolutely, to the amazement of his classmates, 'I want to be a priest.' ... It was the first clear light. Before that he had felt some inclination, though obscurely, in the depths of his soul, but without any practical result. From that day on, his companions and his brothers began to call him 'priest,' sometimes to make fun of him, other times to recall him to his duty. That incident had consequences for him: his study, prayers, thoughts, behavior and even his recreation were directed to this goal. ... From that day on, everything strengthened him in his decision.
Last week, I met a lovely family from the Chicago metropolitan area. The parents are affiliate members of a religious community, so the faith is lived intensely in their household. The mom told me about her seven-year-old Timothy. It seems that at the Easter Mass, something at the preparation of the gifts struck him. He paid careful attention to every detail, and then turned to his mother and whispered urgently, "That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to be a priest." Now, after the children's Liturgy of the Word he rushes into church for the preparation of the gifts (and is grieved when the LOW runs too long!).

How many vocations to the priesthood can still be stirred in these final hours of the Year for Priests?


Doc Hannon said...

Your readers might be interested in the more recent issue of CHRISTVS REGNAT the journal of St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association in Ireland.

We'd be very grateful if you would post about our journal and link to and blogroll our blog.

God bless you!

Sr Anne said...

Correction: I anticipated the closing of the Year for Priests by almost a week! It had opened on the Feast of Corpus Christi, and that's what stuck in my head for the closing, although the actual closing date was the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, later that week.