As I come to the end of my summer semester of liturgical studies at the Liturgical Institute (Mundelein Seminary), I am grateful most of all for the robust vocational environment that thrives here. Men and women of all ages and backgrounds live and study, pray and play together here, knowing that “vocation” is the word we use to speak of any person who seeks to live intimately with Jesus, whether as single or married, or single hoping for marriage, or religious man or woman or priest.
Mundelein Seminary was founded by Cardinal Mundelein in the 1920’s to form diocesan priests for the archdiocese of Chicago. While the vocational purpose of the seminary has evolved, in a couple of months 230 young(ish) men will arrive here as seminarians to begin or continue their discernment of God’s life-call to them, with a special openness to God calling them to serve as diocesan priests.
A few times in recent months I have posted vocational video clips and reflections on Food For Faith. Today I thought you might like to read the 2015 US ordinations report – the summary at this link, and the full text at this link. There are a number of comments I could make and encouragements that I could share, but I would like to hear your comments – I will post them here – unfortunately the “Comment” button on this site is not working so please email me your comments firstname.lastname@example.org. Most especially I am interested hearing from you what we need to do to encourage young New Zealand born men to consider diocesan priesthood. NZ often follows trends in North America…but the US experience is that when parishioners and priests rediscovered the beauty of life with Jesus lived as a life-long adventure within the Catholic faith and began to live this in a way that was contagious, young people discovered the beauty of faith that had too often been kept secret from them.
One point I found especially interesting in the report was that the age 17 was the mean age when those ordained in 2015 first considered priesthood, and the vast majority were prompted to consider priesthood by their parish priest.
Let me know what you think on any point in the report: email@example.com