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Faithful priests are spur to more vocations, Pope says

Catholic World News - February 16, 2010

Good priests are the best natural encouragement for young men considering a life in ministry, Pope Benedict XVI writes in his message of the 47th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

The World Day of Prayer will be observed on April 25, the 4th Sunday of Lent. The Pope's message for the occasion was released by the Vatican on February 16.

In the message the Holy Father says that while prayer is the first essential means of ensuring new vocations, experience shows that the witness offered by faithful priests can "awaken in others a desire to respond generously to Christ's call." He notes that St. Peter was called through St. Andrew, and the same call went out to other disciples.

To be effective witnesses, the Pope says, priests must be thoroughly dedicated to God, encouraging others along the same path. "The story of every vocation," he writes, "is almost always intertwined with the testimony of a priest who joyfully lives the gift of himself to his brothers and sisters for the sake of the Kingdom of God."

If priests are remote figures, they do not attract the attention of the young, the Pope observes. But a priest who "radiates the joy of serving Christ" cannot fail to attract others.

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  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Feb. 17, 2010 4:52 PM ET USA

    The Holy Father's words on the vocation to priesthood and religious life is a timely reflection for the season of Lent which is now upon us. By renouncing themselves through fasting, abstinence and penance all Christians are a sign of "contradiction" to a world caught up in "materialism, self-centerdness and individualism." In a very unique way, however, priests and religious who embrace celibacy, obedience and proverty for the "Sake of the Kingdom of God" bear witness to the transcendent.

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