Photo taken last year of some of the lads of Glennon College Seminary… Yea, that is the college that has announced expansion plans!
Over at Roman Catholic Vocations we are treated to an article entitled “At least one qualified candidate per parish”. It is a worthy read.
It can also be filed under “Things Simple has said for years – that he learned from bishops who already understood it!”
Very simply, the diocesan vocations director should contact each pastor of each parish (each year) and ask for a 3-5 name “short list” of young men. Several times a year using the contact info they should be invited to the Cathedral for Mass, and dinner at the Episcopal residence or in some restaurant that has a private dining room where the bishop himself can say “I invite you to pray and consider this”.
14ish years ago I was 18 and working with a buddy of mine on a volunteer project on a Saturday afternoon at an inner city parish. We were doing some landscaping on a really beautiful day when we could have been playing some softball or drinking some beers one of our older brothers scored for us… but there we were.
For about 5 min the pastor made small talk with us after he saw us working… (We knew he was the pastor because he told us – he was just wearing khakis and some ugly button down shirt that made me think he should stick to clerics to hide his really awful taste!) Just enough small talk to know we were Catholics, we were active members in our Catholic parishes, we went to Catholic school and well – by observation! – we cared enough to do some volunteer work at a Catholic parish on a day we could have found “funner” (as my kid sister would say) things to do.
A month or two later we would come to find out that he was the vocations director for the diocese. And what he NEVER said “boo” about – not even close was “You guys ever think about the priesthood?”
That just MIGHT explain why the diocese I grew up in had no more than 2-3 seminarians at a time for two decades and why – with a changing of the guard – the same diocese has 25+ every year now.
Moral of the story that you already well know? Find the men, ask them, pray with them, pray for them… and 4-8 years later you will be ordaining some of them.
Seminarians almost grow on trees, but you have to go out to the field and pick them.