Sunday, January 4, 2009

46 Seminarians in Omaha

Mike at DORCatholic links to story in The Catholic Advance, online journal for the Diocese of Witchita, on how the rural diocese has been able to attract so many seminarians; currently standing at 46.

Fr. Michael Simone, Director of Vocations, highlights three aspects for their success:

Family Life, Parish Life, and Life through Education and Formation

Family Life:
It is not a secret that healthy vocations come from healthy families. And while God can call men from broken families, it certainly helps his vocation discernment if he has had a solid experience in a good family. As a note, it doesn't have to be the 'holy roller' family, either. My family is far from that, but the faith has to be an important aspect of life in the family: prayers at meals, evening prayers, Mass attendance every week, if not daily (especially on vacations! there is NO 'vacation exemption'!)

Parish Life:
A cultivation of a life of stewardship is vital; where the young people of the parish recognize that they have been given gifts and talents that Our Lord asks them to share with the Church and the world. Also, it is important to form young people to have an experience of Christ in and through the community, the religious experience must be connected to the Church, otherwise it is easy to fall into the quest for 'spirituality' outside the confines of the Church. Here's a hint: spirituality outside of the Church is really just a form of narcissism!

Life through Education and Formation:
This was something that I mentioned in a short talk I gave yesterday to a men's prayer group: our Catholic Schools have to teach the fullness of the Truth, in all of it's mystery. But this is still not enough, through the retreat programs and youth ministry, the young people must have an experience of the Living and True God who has a deep and profound love for them. As in the seminary, it is not just education, but also the prayer and pastoral formation that must be constituative of the formation of our young people.

It's just that simple, no?
UPDATE to fix the Diocese source! Apologies to my Kansas reader!


Kurt said...

Yes, you (and I and probably everyone who reads your blog) would think that it would be just that simple. I sincerely hope that you still think so two years after you've left the vocations office and become pastor of a parish. There are a lot of competing viewpoints within our Church. Of course, we're right, and they're wrong, but they don't know that. ;-)

Father Schnippel said...


Don't I know it! There are enough competing viewpoints just here in the office, much less in the parishes of the Archdiocese!

By the by, my twin brother's name is also Kurt, and I'm always wondering which one has posted him or you, when I see your name pop up.

Xopher said...

The Catholic Advance is the online website of the newspaper of the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas.