The priesthood is a subject so dear to my heart not so much because I myself am a priest but because I find it an inexhaustible source of reflection of God’s constant care for humanity and at the same time of God’s merciful love. We have talked so much about it these past issues and though I believe the mystery still abounds we have to put a period to it somehow at least for now. And what could be a better ending than an article written by our new priest himself - from someone so new to the priesthood, so full of ideals and raring to go. His article is a response to our parishioners who reflected these past weeks on the priesthood and who willingly expressed in writing their dreams and expectations from us priests, dreams which taught me in a way the meaning of my priesthood.
For my part, I would like to end mine by saying that though we are happy indeed because of the grace of the priesthood given to our Christian community, yet the fact remains that our need for more priests is even greater today. We need priests and not just more priests but holy priests who could lead the people by word and example. For this I would like to exhort the families to help our church in this regard.
The family is the seedbed of religious vocations and thus on their shoulders fall the greater responsibility to provide the church with priests who will carry on the task of Christ. Indeed the priesthood is a vocation - a call from God and no amount of pressure from the family can make a child one or at least make him lived like one if ever he gets ordained. But as a seedbed, the is responsibility for making the soil, the family environment, viable for the seed which comes from God to see light of day and grow, falls on them. For this to happen there is a need to bring back our long tradition of praying together as a family. Not just individually but as a family because through constant family prayers a child becomes open to the grace of vocation and is continually nourished, supported and encouraged to respond to the call. Family prayers are indispensable for Christian growth and maturity, from which vocation to the priesthood develops.
I believe God has been doing his part in answering our prayers for more priests to serve his church, but few families have cooperated in providing a rich ground for it to evolve. He has not stopped calling, but so many young men today failed to even notice the call because the atmosphere in the home is not so amenable for growth.
Let us then consider these things part of our Christian responsibility.