Quote of the day: on vocations

“The root of our current vocation problem is a lack of discipleship.

Of course, a disciple is one who encounters Jesus, repents, experiences conversion and then follows Jesus. All too often those of us in positions of Church leadership presume that all the folks in the pews on Sundays, all the children in our grade schools, high schools and PSR programs, all the kids in our youth groups, all the men in our Men’s Clubs and all the women in our Women’s Guilds, and all the members of our RCIA team are already disciples. Many are not. (The same can be said of staffs and faculties of Catholic institutions.) Our people may be very active in the programs of our parishes, schools and institutions, but unfortunately, such participation does not qualify for discipleship.

If the root of our vocation problem is a lack of discipleship, then the remedy is to make more disciples, just as Jesus commanded. But how is this accomplished?”

— Fr. Damien Ference.  Read his answer to the question here.

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4 responses to “Quote of the day: on vocations”

  1. Do I understand Fr. Ference correctly? Is he saying that the way our programs for youth (and maybe for all) make disciples is by teaching the ways of prayer, the central doctrines of the Faith, and Christian morality (especially those elements which are proclaimed in John Paul II’s Theology of the Body)” all of this delivered in the context of the witness of lives of discipleship? Is there more to it than that? Have I missed something?

  2. Wow, this couldn’t be more “right on!” I have posted here many times that until I fell in love with Jesus, it was all “going through the motions” at best, and (after a 20 year exit).

    It’s why I pray so hard for “conversions.” In the end, it’s all grace and only grace, and of course, the acceptance of it.

    Once that occurs, it’s “blast-off”, a return to the sacraments, especially regular confessions and as much Eucharist as possible.

    One of the reasons I’m such a fan of the NO mass (reverent ones of course), is the daily gospel and homily. Only one year of daily mass and we hear all that we need for salvation, and of course, can’t HELP but to fall in love with Jesus.

    Lastly, to prove Father’s point, it explains why church closures are so traumatic for many, being that in reality, Christ is no longer there. I suspect, while it’s natual to have feelings of old memories, most of the “trauma” is the closing/disruption of the “social club.”

    I say “just keep prayin'” for the salvation and conversion of others. It works!

  3. If discipleship is the tendency to commit oneself wholy and completely to the life of Christ, I tend to disagree with the premise. The diaconate in the United States, and for that matter the world, require discipleship to be fostered and grown in those seeking diaconal ordination.

    Simply put, diaconate programs seem to have no problem finding candidates. Why is it that priests and nuns do not have the same problem, that is, people willing to join their ranks as ministers and teachers of the faith.

    Granted, there is a larger commitment to being a priest or a nun in relationship to the laity’s way of living their lives. But in saying that, the commitment by a deacon and his family is a major one as well. With the deacons (and many times their spouse) that work fulltime and minister upward of 10 to 20 hours a week on top of their day job, there is a level of stress, fatigue, and separation from the ones that they love as well. Yet, there still seems to be a large number of candidates to the diaconate each and every year.

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