Canadian Priest Honored by Vocations Conference

OTTAWA, SEPT. 14, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The National Religious Vocation Conference gave the Harvest Award to a diocesan priest from Montreal for his «exceptional contribution» in fostering vocations in North America.

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Father Raymond Lafontaine, 40, was given the award for his role as Canadian co-director of the 3rd Continental Congress on Vocations, held in Montreal in 2002.

The award is given every two years by the American-based vocation conference made up of 1,300 members, composed mainly of vocations directors from religious communities. Father Lafontaine is the first Canadian to receive the award.

The vocations congress was held at the request of the Vatican and jointly organized by the Canadian and American episcopal conferences. The event brought together more than 1,200 participants.

The congress published a pastoral guide on vocations that has sold more than 15,000 copies to date. Father Lafontaine coordinated the production of this pastoral plan to encourage a «vocations culture» in the Church.

The guide, «Conversion, Discernment, Mission: Creating a Vocation Culture in North America,» is available through the Publications Service of the Canadian bishops’ conference at www.cccbpublications.net.

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