Perfectae Caritatis 24

In the post-WWII decline of vocations, how much encouragement of young people to seek religious life happens? Priests seem to have a significant responsibility, not just encouraging non-clerical vocations, but regularly preaching and teaching on the “religious state.”

Priests and Christian educators should make serious efforts to foster religious vocations, thereby increasing the strength of the Church, corresponding to its needs. These candidates should be suitably and carefully chosen. In ordinary preaching, the life of the evangelical counsels and the religious state should be treated more frequently. Parents, too, should nurture and protect religious vocations in their children by instilling Christian virtue in their hearts.

I like this emphasis for parents: the instilling of virtues in children. More is possible. Catholics parents, too, should be able to speak and discuss aspects of religious life, too.

Religious communities have the right to make themselves known in order to foster vocations and seek candidates. In doing this, however, they should observe the norms laid down by the Holy See and the local Ordinary.

Check with your local bishop, but by all means make one’s community known.

Religious should remember there is no better way than their own example to commend their institutes and gain candidates for the religious life.

The council recognizes the value in personal example: remember how it was drilled into us during Gaudium et Spes?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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