By Father Gregory Galvin, Director of Priestly Vocations
So much has transpired over the last several months, some of which we touched on in the past two issues of the Four County Catholic Vocation Corner. However, I, like all of you, was saddened by the deeply disturbing news out of Pennsylvania and Washington in August. The reprint in last month’s Four County Catholic of Bishop Cote’s pastoral letter that went out to parishioners throughout the diocese, strengthened me. I am thankful for the leadership, support and resolve of our shepherd, Bishop Cote, who pledges to continue to protect the vulnerable and to hold accountable those responsible for any past failings.
It is important to remember why each and every one of us is Catholic. We are Catholic because we believe what Saint Peter himself proclaimed to Christ when asked; “will you leave me also?” and Peter responded; “Lord, to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.” Sin exists in the church because of fallen human nature. Any one of us would be making a mistake if we were trying to live out our Catholic faith because of a certain bishop, priest, deacon, religious sister or brother, or anyone else. Our reason for being Catholic must remain solely focused on obtaining heaven through Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life.
If you look back on the history of the Church, at times of great difficulty, God has always raised up saints among his children to inspire and lead the Church through the pain, the suffering and ultimately to greater growth, spiritually and humanly. I believe firmly as people have been asking me recently, “do you think vocations will be affected greatly because of recent news events”? My answer is “Yes”, but for the reason I mentioned above. I believe that good men and women of firm faith, will continue to respond more courageously to the Call from God to lead His Church family. We must remember that through Holy Baptism, each newly adopted son and daughter is called by God to holiness and to sainthood.
This is a time in the church when each one of us must not fall into the mistake of allowing our hearts to be captured and ruled by a judgmental and bitter mindset. We must each work at becoming more committed to the call to holiness we have been given, more determined in our love for Christ and His Father, that we will more readily cooperate with the grace of their Holy Spirit. We must newly dedicate ourselves to prayer for the Church and ourselves, that we may all have the strength and the gift of wisdom not to make the bad decision of walking away from
Christ and His Church because of the failures of others.
Each of us is on a journey of faith, walking with Christ, seeking a re- union with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in eternity. We pray for our seminarians, that they will remain strong in their conviction of doing God’s will for their life. Pray for those who are being called during this tumultuous time for the Church. May they respond to God’s will and be raised up as our future leaders and as future saints. It may be someone you know. It might be you!