Vocation groundswell

Vocation groundswell

VocationsIn his blog post this past Friday, Cardinal Sean O’Malley mentioned that the Archdiocese of Boston’s St. John’s Seminary hosted a vocation discernment retreat and over 60 men in their 20s and 30s participated! Wow, that’s a lot. Naturally not all are called or will answer the call, but that’s an encouraging sign.

After celebrating Mass for the retreat participants, I suggested that we take this picture for the blog. However, I introduced the idea realizing that there may be some who might not want to be in the photo. I told them that everyone except those who were in the witness protection program or who had not told their mothers or their girlfriends that they were coming to a vocation retreat, could come forward and have their picture taken. I assured them that we were only going to put it on the blog and then we were going to destroy the negatives!


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Image Credit

  • vocations1.jpg: Archdiocese of Boston | Copyright by owner. Used with permission.
  • That was the biggest vocationretreat in the history of the archdiocese, I’m told, and also there was a night for men in their 40s and over at Blessed John XXIII.  I don’t know how many more men were there…

  • Got to attend something like this a few years ago at the Seminary. Nice place. Cardinal Law gave a talk on vocations and we got a grand tour.

  • We’re experiencing a huge boom in Joliet, as well. The majority of our guys entering formation are just out of high school, which – while not having the highest retention rate – says something about the state of excitement for vocations overall…

  • I just have to say, to all those in Boston who want to tear down the Church because of the Scandal (and I mean, not legitimately make corrections, but lets just start with the Globe…) THIS is why the gates of hell won’t ever prevail against it. Not the naysayers, not the bishops, not the priests, not us sinners on the inside-God will preserve his Bride!

    This is great, how refreshing and wonderful in light of all that has happened over the past 5 years.

  • I am curious as to what types of messages the retreat itself contained that were sent to the young men.  Any further word there?

  • Your curiosity could perhaps be satisfied by clicking on the link I provided to the Cardinal’s blog and you read what he has to say for yourself in more detail than my memory could provide.

  • Dom,

    Thanks for the link.  But I would rather hear it from the candidates.  Think about it, if you want to find out how good a company is, do you ask the President and the Public Relations department or the workers?  And not some disgruntled workers either (although in this case you wouldn’t have a disgruntled candidate otherwise they wouldn’t go in the first place).

    Of course I am happy to hear about the potential for more priests, but I am also careful not to fall into a smokescreen.  How many are serious candidates?  If there are a number who are afraid to have their picture taken I can’t imagine that this will have a high return ratio.

  • Dear Mr. Bettinelli:
      Most encouraging to see these kinds of numbers on a vocation retreat: it’s a sign of great things to come: “Pray to the Lord of the Harvest that He may send laborers into His Harvest.” “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
    It is a shame that Our Dear Lord calls many young men to the priesthood but so few hear His Call and answer. It appears many prayers are being aswered.  God bless.
        j hughes dunphy

  • While we can’t “count our chickens…” there’s no denying that these numbers are a great sign. Thanks for the encouraging post, Dom. (oh, and if TOO many are called, don’t forget your neighbors in Rhode Island…Sharing is good.) Meanwhile our retreat-for-the-interested is coming up quickly—maybe our numbers will come close to yours?