May 7, 2017

Friends, 

Today, May 7th, is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We surely have expanded our horizons from the day when we believed you either had a vocation or you didn't. That was when "vocation" only referred to a call to the priesthood or religious life. We have broadened our understanding and appreciation of the belief that everyone is called by God in various ways that enhance our Church and our world. So in a true sense, everyone has a vocation, our responsibility and privilege is to determine how God is calling each of us to service. 

One of the 3 priorities of our Blue Hills Collaborative is to do all we can as a faith community to encourage our young people to consider how God is calling them and to focus especially on the call to the diocesan priesthood (parish priests like Fr Charles and me). 

Stephen May, Director of Ministries of our Blue Hills Collaborative, and myself recently took 2 of our young men (freshman in high school) to a St. Andrew Dinner at St. John Seminary in Brighton (Fr Charles and I both graduated and were ordained from St John). There were 40 young high school men there the other night from different parishes. We had a meal, a tour of the Seminary, a couple of seminarians spoke about their story, the Rector of the Seminary addressed us and there was a question and answer period. It was a great night. If we don't at least expose our teenagers to this profession, occupation or career choice, why would they even consider it? The rest is between them, their families, their peers, the Church and God. 

Monsignor Maroney is the rector of the Seminary. He said "it's the same as being a pastor of a parish, but no one goes home." He also mentioned that the Seminary does not judge their success on the number of young men who choose to remain at school and get ordained as a priest. He judges their success on the young men spending their 4, 6 or 8 years discerning how God is calling them. Those that decide that they are called to another way of life are also part of their success story. The goal is to encourage them to determine how God is calling them. It could be to the priesthood or to serve the Church, their community and their world in many other ways as members of parishes and disciples of Christ. 

We are attempting to develop a plan within our Collaborative to acquaint more of our young people with the priesthood as an option. I mentioned this as one goal in our 3 parishes. The other 2 goals are to enhance our Sunday experience, and to build a culture of investment in each of our parishioners. 

Being Catholic today is surely challenging and rewarding. Obviously, I am happy and fulfilled as a Catholic and a priest. Why would I not want others to join me? 

Enjoy Life! 
Fr. Ron Coyne

 

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