‘How to Encourage Religious Vocations’ by Bishop DiMarzio

April 6, 2016 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

The phrase, “Pray to the Lord of the Harvest so that He may send out laborers into His harvest,” is not the suggestion of a priest, bishop or even a pope. Rather, it is the command of the Lord Jesus, Himself, that if we are to have sufficient laborers in the vineyard of the Kingdom of God, we need to pray.

The 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations called this year by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has a theme, “The Church, Mother of Vocations.” The Holy Father begins his message by quoting his own motto, Miserando atque eligendo – by having mercy and by choosing – which describes the call of St. Matthew by Jesus.

He called Matthew from a life of defrauding others to be an apostle. In our own day, it seems that we are calling young people from lives that are incompatible with the Gospel at times, to be ministers of the Gospel. They, themselves, know that this is a problem and feel that somehow it disqualifies them from following the Lord’s call, even though they feel the call. This is one of the major obstacles to vocations that we must overcome in developing a pastoral approach to vocation recruitment for the priesthood and religious life.

Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.