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The Observer
Rockford, Illinois
March 17, 1961     The Observer
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March 17, 1961

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PAGE 2. Observer, Friday, March 17, 1961 A nobler aspiration would be impossible to find for you are aiming to become an "other Christ." Through the u s e of your physical, mental and spir- itual faculties, t h e work He started some 19 centuries ago will be furthered. But just who and what and why is this priest you are think- ing of becoming? The "who" of that question is very simply answered. He can be any Catholic boy or young man who has a desire to give himself wholeheartedly to God. Has Proven Himself It could be any one or all of the boys and young men who read this vocation issue. Quite naturally, it could be YOU ? The "what" of the question also has a very simple answer. A priest is a man who has proved to hio bishop or religious superiors after years of train- ing that he is physically, men- tally and spiritually able to act as that "gther Christ." The "why" of our question is best answered by saying God invite, him to be - - ~r His priesthood and the boy or young man was unselfish enough to leave all others and follow Christ. Must Take Action But, you may say even[though I think about becoming ~ priest, how do I know that the "who" the "'what," and the "why" re- fer to me? You don't k n o w and you won't know unless you do some- thing about it; anymore than you can say that you are going to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher "and let' it go at that. To become a member of any profession, you must first prove yourself and to those over you that you are qualified to act as a doctor or a lawyer or a and when spoken a sinister sound. We conjure visions of walls surrounding a prison-like institution: boys and young men dressed in black parading around with massive tomes un- der their arms; eyes cast down and their faces enshrined with an almost ethereal halo. Should this be your idea of a seminary or the life of a semi- narian have a man to man talk with one of your friends who is presently stud,ying for the pri~st- hood or better yet visit a semi- nary and see and hear for your- self. You will be in for a surprise awakening Should you look for the heavy books the seminarians study, they-will be found in their rooms, the classrooms and the libraries. Wide Range of. Topics And if you care to eavesdrop on their convers~ftion, the topic will be governed by the time of day you are there. If it is during class hours, you will probably hear them talking about class assignments, as they go to their next task. If during visiting hours for friends and relations, "what's doing at home" will be a big part Of the conversation. And if it is at recreation that you are listening in, prepare to hear about the results of the last games in whatever spQrt is pop- ular at the time. Their conversa- tion is as varied as their days "chores." Vocation--here's another word that causes a lot of difficulty. What is it? How do I know that I have one?' Actually a vocation is the "why" we have been treating It's an invitation from God to follow some particular line of life to gain salvation. No Bolt From Blue A man must have a vocation to become a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher. And strangely enough those chosen by God to teacher follow other particular fields in Compared To Professions life seem to have little difficulty m recogn zing where they be Strangely enough very f e w" ~'" who debate t h e priesthood long agains t any other profession re- mut~ wnen, it ,c mes t,a voca- alize that to -re-are for an" tion to the religious die it ne- P P 3' f ^ ~"~ f-~o~i-'ns it comes a problem of gigantic pro- o t h ~ ,-s,~- v-, ~oo " k " " n ears portmns "laow go i Know n 1 ta es inmost as ma y y ;~. " . the "battle withthe books"islnave a vocation?" --. a questmn frequently asked by sincere boys just as hard, and the physical requirements a.r e sometimes and young men. . " *" ---r IxOU won't Know unless you are even greater. 1,4or can we ov~ - " k "" f " "h " n of these1willing to give it a chance Don't log me act t at me . . . " professions must develop them-Ithmk that the invitation to fol- " s 1 if "he are toII w Christ will come like a bolt selves . plrltual y t y o , fuDfill tbeir purpose in lifeoI lightning. It did to St. Paul, Naturall the ~ iritual devel ]but ordinarily God doesn't use Y, "-P "],~ -T " of vo s'ud~i-- sucnextreme measure~ P~or opment a. ung man ~t ." v~g) ill . . . " " . an mr marl specml dehvery for the priesthood must be given ' - , - =: ~ ~.-,t.^-.^ fletter announce that you have greater empha~,~, r~H~ t,~ ,- --^ ^~ ^-~.'--,: ~a ~:~lbeen chosen to be a priest. Some e saints and many of the death, he will be principally[ . . . dealin~ with things of the spirit most act|re prmsts you know " personallytook quite a 10ng Where There's a Will "i "": "" - [t me to mscover lneir vocation But does that mean that here was the real Chi--* and now, when. I am just consid-[ L ,is. ,tiet Gmflanee ering the priesthood as my x o- he ls[If you have a sincere demre to cation, I must be head and e " " r ends who be a prmst ff 3ou want to hel spiritually above my f i " : " ' p are aiming towards law or medi- others to get to heaven and if cine~ " I the physical and mental abilities Not at all -- but the des" ~ . ~, " ~re to we spoke of are yours there ~s I only one way to find out talk inci-ease your spiritua!ity, the in: I. ' -- Chin t hke as it over ~lth 3our pastor or with tent to become as s -" ' ' " possible must be your textbook some other priest you especially His example, your model. Sue: like. He won't be able to imme- tess can come only after many diately resolve all your doubts attempts many trials and per-lbut he will steer you in the right hags even many failures Idireetion to help you find out There is an old saying, once and for all. "'Where there's a wilt, there's al It would be wise also to take h true for theI3our parents into our confi way." And it olds " . " Y "- priesthood [dence. Remember you are their If you feel that the "who" and pride and joy. - They'll like to the "what" and the "why" aslknow what you are thinking n h m t ou there about and if unha fl the we mentio ed t e fi 3,t," pp y y v defm haxe adxerse ideas about your i. a place where . ou can " -[ ' ' " itely find out if God is askingtgomg to a seminary, perhaps you to loin Him in His priesthoddleduealing them as you get edu- --- the seminary teated in what a seminary is like mm T will dlspel their fears " ary Not Forbidding ] " " " - The word seminary somehowl Dioces~an Work Well Known or other has a frightening iookl Another question wbich may "THIS IS MY BLOOD" . MY LORD AND MY GOD---Every priest begins his day for Christ by offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is this reenactment of Calvary that makes a priest an "Other Christ" . . . it is the greatest power given to man! arise is what kind of a priest[tain way in which to find out ifithat you thought He was calling should I be? -- a diocesan priest[you have ~a vocation to the[you but you found out such was Or a member of an order? Youlpriesthood unless you are willinglnot to be your happy state. can answer that one. Which type lto give it ,a try. If after an earn-I Since the preparation for. both of work attracts you most? lest 'try Your superiors and youIthe diocesan priesthood and for BrieflY stated the diocesanldiscover that your vocation is the different religious orders is priesthood;onfines itself to work/n t real you will be better forlsimilar. This is the work you ,~ihaving given it a sincere trial lean expect to do if God is call- m parisn churches scnools arrd " " - v " iYou can tell God and yourself.rag YOU. positions.' diocesan You know their daily, life froml I many eontacts with thero--Massl~'~ll~J~,Clbltl~ Ar~lm "~flh*t*fJf~At-lt]tJe daily, teaching in the parishl~lYl~E'OqPlv~'l #,O~tJI ~ rtu, t ttAt, qvuvtg,~tm school or the central Catholic[-- . - ~. high school, giving instructionsI (No. 1) to potential converts, visiting the[ WILL A PERSON BE NAVE1D IF HE REJECTS A k h sick trying to bring bac t e I E'~ strayed sheep working with the]CALL TO THE PRIESTHOOD OR RELIGIOUS L F . ~ti.fferen(elubs in the parish, ad-[CAN HE FIND HAPPINESS AND SALVATION IN A ministering the sacraments to ,~ ", . : . [WORLDY VOCATION. DOES HE SIN BY REJECT- members of the congre~.ation. Their tasks are varied and]ING A CALL TO SERVE GOD AS A PRIEST OR RE- most interesting. [LIGIOUS? Different Orders I Seldom is there question of l~ the dehberate rejectmn of a On the other hand we have a] " " " lconscience, if the vocation was certain vocation Usually there . number Of ',order" priests ~ " ldehberately rejected. But hon- h . . . . 'its GOUDE an(1 lnoeclslon ano ] w ose speemi WOrK is teacning-t ' - lest cooperation w i t hGod's . ' Erie vocal;ion goes oy cleIault. others spend most of the~" t~me . But granted that a person[grace can bring peace of soul; u.~ miss,on wor~, nome or ior-[should rebelliously reject a cer-lnormal interesis can be devel- elgn; g,wng retreats noiy nours ' . [tam vocatmn he could still he [o-" d -nd -r^at "1oo4 can be ac ant] lorry nours oevotlons Keep! V -- "- ' | IJ~ * g v t~ r sa co. It mlgnt De oiiiieutt membe s of other orders busy. ~ em,~tations m o r e r-', ~ ]comphshed. Another group of priests call * v " " "[and ,~races fewer but God in[ Dehberate and rebellious re- ed contemplatives, confinesit-; ~" . ' . . . IH~s mercy will always grant []eetmn of a certmn voeatmn ~;~rkt an~ n;r~;rm;n:taetTy.m;ylth~. grace needed for sa}vat,on, lwould s!nful. Jt seldom hap- f r ~ is quite poss Die that pe pens bmlul neglect oi a voca a as occupations are concern-, " . ~: .[ . - . " " ed you have a wealth of differ= son wno nas .re)ecteo a voca-/tton m~ght be more common. ont ~no~ frt~rn whioIa to ~o]oof ]Don can sun nno normal nappi-lUsually there is no sin involved !ness in a worldly life. Adapta- I" at all. No Certain Way Iti o n may be difficult; there [ But we repeat, there is no cer- may be regrets and remorse ofI (Msgr. J. D. Conway)