Off-the-mark vocations ad

Off-the-mark vocations ad

Amy Welborn posts an excerpt from a parish bulletin bit promoting priestly vocations:

His co-workers are well-trained and knowledgeable in their fields.

And they are supportive, never competitive. They laugh a lot with him. Sometimes they cry with him. But they are always caring. This job has brought out in him all sorts of hidden talents. He hadn’t known what a flair he had for public speaking; now, after every talk, there are pats on the back. He hadn’t known how much he liked children; now hundreds of kids know he’s ticklish behind the knees. This is not a dead-end job. He is learining every day. He is a priest. Does his job sound good to you?

As Amy says, where do you start with what’s wrong with this? Amy and some of her commenters noted the absolute tone-deafness of including anything about kids tickling a priest. Where have these people been these past four years?

An even greater problem is the self-centeredness of the description. Pats on the back because he’s a good public speaker? How about the wishy-washy tone? As another commenter pointed out, the only people you’re going to attract with this bit are women and “sensitive” men. Contrast this with the “Fishers of Men” video produced by the US bishops conference. These are strong, manly men; dedicated and self-sacrificing, heroes looking for challenges to conquer and obstacles to overcome. The difference is like that between an ad for a social worker and an ad for a US Marine or firefighter or policeman. Which one do you think most teen boys and young adult men would gravitate to?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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