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Archbishop Dolan on building a culture of vocations

Catholic World News - December 07, 2011

In an interview with The Catholic Answer, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York discusses his ideas for building a culture of vocations.

“I always tell my priests that when we tell you to preach on vocations to the priesthood, preach on vocations to the priesthood bluntly, in an unapologetic way — not watering it down by saying, ‘I don’t mean to demean this other vocation,’ or ‘I wish we could ordain married men,’” he said.

Archbishop Dolan recounted:

What I mean by a culture of vocations is that when our young people grow up in a culture that encourages you to do God’s will and that affirms one in his desire to be a priest, you are going to get priests. I grew up in such a culture. I said to my teachers in grade school, “I think I want to be a priest,” and they beamed and did everything possible to encourage me. My parish priest would. My folks would. My neighbors would. The parish would. I can remember as a kid — I must have been 9 or 10 years old — getting a haircut, and the barber said, “Hey shrimp, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I said, “I want to be a priest.” And he wasn’t even a Catholic, but he said, “Hey, isn’t that great?” Now that is the culture of vocations that we need in the Church.

Asked whether the Church is experiencing a new springtime of priestly vocations, he said, “I think we have to be realistic. I think we might be in early March.”

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