Saturday, August 15, 2009

Marriage at the Heart of the Vocations Crisis

In Phoenix, Arizona during the 127th annual Knights of Columbus convention, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York pointed out four major problems with the church in America. “The four being the vocation to marriage, the state of Catholic parishes and schools, the great number of lapsed Catholics, and finally the difficulties in a culture desperate to keep the Church and morals out of the public square.” After a few moments the Archbishop pointed out that the well-spring of these problems is the vocations crisis… “We have a vocation crisis to life-long, life-giving, loving, faithful marriage. If we take care of that one, we’ll have all the priests and nuns we need for the church,” Archbishop Dolan said. Pope Benedict XVI has declared this the year of vocations and has focused this dedication on the priesthood. The Archbishop Dolan has redirected this year of prayers to the vocation of marriage. He has told the faithful that if we have good Catholic marriages vocations will be the fruit. So he is trying to use the year of priests as a focus on why we are having a shortage; and heal the root of the problem. “Only 50% of our Catholic young people are getting married,” the Archbishop said. We need to pray for all vocations so that Catholic marriage can begin producing religious again. CNA

Catholic Femina Speaks: the term “Vocations” is a very misunderstood term. Most of the time people only understand this exclusively as a “religious vocation;” while in reality it is anything that a person does for the glory of God. Every person should pursue a vocation, but most only seek a career. A career as a means of personal stability on earth, and they are not living out a vocation for the glory of God. Marriage needs to be understood as a vocation, just as every other life goal. This will begin the healing process of Catholic families. The call to a vocation should be the first driving factor and parents need to help their children learn how to listen for God so that their vocation is not drowned out by the world. “Religious vocations” are a means to glorify God, but so are the married life, single life, and careers. So we as Catholics must take the Archbishop’s suggestion and heal the base for vocations the married life so that all other vocations can flourish.

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