NORTH HAVEN, Connecticut, FEB. 6, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Dioceses reporting successful rates of vocational recruitment have something in common, says the National Catholic Register.
In a summary of reporter Tim Drake’s article “Vocations Surge” in a recent issue, the Register compiled a list of “six habits of highly effective dioceses.”
The first habit was putting the Eucharist at the center of vocational work.
In an editorial the newspaper explained: “Eucharistic adoration is especially effective because it draws sharp attention to the great gift that makes the priesthood so extraordinary and so needed — we have the priesthood to thank for God’s real presence in the Blessed Sacrament.
“And the dynamic of silent Eucharistic adoration inevitably leads to the question, ‘What do you want me to do, Lord?'”
According to the newspaper, the Web site Vocation.com worked with American bishops to deliver Vatican monstrances to dioceses to promote adoration in parishes.
“Program leaders like David Craig have been astounded to see parishes produce their first vocations ever after Eucharistic adoration was introduced,” the editorial stated.
The second habit cited by the newspaper was the invitation. According to a U.S. bishops’ survey, 78% of those being ordained began considering the priesthood after an invitation to do so from a priest.
Third, seminaries must be faithful to the magisterium in order to attract candidates. The Register editors mentioned three seminaries that are booming: St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland; St. Vincent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania; and St. Gregory the Great in Seward, Nebraska.
Seminaries are not the only element that needs to be faithful. Candidates to the priesthood also come from faithful families.
The editorial cited a key role played by fathers, explaining: “There are beautiful exceptions, but the rule is that priests come from committed Catholic families in which the father is an active player in the family’s faith.”
The fifth and sixth habits reported by the Register are interaction with priests and attendance at a World Youth Day.
Youth need to meet and interact with priests or “it may never occur to many young men that the priesthood is a life that would appeal to them,” the article explained.
Key among the venues for this interaction is altar serving: “For many priests, serving at the altar was the first place they first came to know men who had been called and understood what the call entailed.”
And the “World Youth Day factor is very real,” the editorial said. It explained that these events give young men the chance to see that they can have “a big, positive impact on the world — one that lasts for eternity.”