Saint John Paul II said that there will never be enough vocations to the priesthood and religious life for the Church. The Church always needs more. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we have the wonderful task to pray and to encourage vocations both within our own families and our parish.
Sadly in the age that we are living, the priesthood is not a calling that many men are attracted to. With all of the many distractions that we have access to, it is challenging for men to heed God’s call. Even for people who have heard God’s call, there is a certain amount of fear or unworthiness to embrace it. Saint John Paul II said “Do not be afraid to open the doors to Christ.”
There are people that are called to the priesthood and religious life, but fear or unworthiness prevents them from fulfilling it. This truth is evident of the parable of the sower:
And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
With all of the challenges that are present and all of the work of the evil one, it is all the more necessary for us to pray for vocations. To pray that men and women will follow God’s will and not be afraid to embrace it. We will bring this prayer intention to the altar of God. The parish will offer a Sunday Mass for vocations every month starting next month.
Beginning October 10, the traveling vocation chalice will be blest at the 10:30 AM Mass. This chalice will be given to a family or a parishioner for two weeks. The person or family will place it in a prominent place in the home and pray daily for vocations. This chalice will be going to the homes of our parish for the purpose of praying for vocations. Please call the rectory if you are interested in signing up.
This past summer we had the wonderful opportunity of hosting the first Mass of Thanksgiving for Father Michael Lombardi, who served at this parish as a transitional deacon. Several weeks later the parish blest Molly Lewis, a young parishioner, who entered the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. Let us pray for their perseverance.
On Monday at the Commemoration of Saint Padre Pio receiving the wounds of Christ, I was surprised and overjoyed to hear that Fr. Glenn Sudano, one of the founders of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, was baptized here at St. Barnabas and offered his First Mass of Thanksgiving here.
Vocations are alive and real in our parish. They are not ancient history. Let us keep praying for vocations.
In Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Jeff Yildirmaz