I have chaperoned teens from my church to Stubenville San Diego for the past two years. It was a most amazing experience. I saw this priest at our stadium with over 4,000 teens. The room was darkened. He brought in Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist and without a word of instruction, 4000 teenagers fell down upon their knees in worship of Our Lord. Father processed up and down, back and forth down every aisle.The teens spontaneously reached out.
The next morning our bishop said mass for us and our new, young, lawyer, vocations director, Fr. Saroki asked for all the boys who had ever considered the priesthood to stand up. Then he asked for them all to come down in front of the stage. Then everyone in the stadium jumped to their feet and burst into applause and cheers that would rival any winning touchdown!
These young men, no longer alone in their parish, were cheered by their peers!
I saw several going down the aisle right next to me. Then I turned to look around. Every aisle was FILLED and they kept coming for ten or fifteen minutes during which time the applause never stopped. This scene was repeated for the girls who had ever considered religious life. Now I know they won’t all end up in a religious vocation.
But….this was just in one event in California. Surely, the vocation crisis will soon be over.