The pastor asked me to provide music leadership for a liturgy last Thursday. The archbishop was in town for “Operation Andrew,” an effort to reach out to prospective seminary candidates. There was adoration of the Blessed Sacrament accompanied by a liturgy of the word. The Scriptures chosen: the call of Samuel, Psalm 27, and Andrew breaking the news to Peter.
Is praying and dining with the archbishop a “program” or is it part of a discipleship witness? I suppose it depends on the way the archbishop handles it. The staffs of the town’s two parishes had a shared lunch that day, too. The archbishop was our guest. My liturgy colleague from the other parish and I shared a table with the archbishop, and inevitably, the discussion turned to MR3. (Wouldn’t y’all like to know what was said?) It was good to have a thoughtful exchange with him about it. Plus other things.
Our student center has always had a decent pipeline into the priesthood. I know of at least three young men in my two-and-a-half years here who have moved on to seminary. I suspect the witness of the parish priests here has had a large role in this. I believe our clergy at the Catholic Student Center live out their discipleship experience in a very accessible and noticeable way.
Fr Ference’s best point:
(U)nless we as a Church can offer true models and exemplars of discipleship with our own lives, very few will seriously consider living the kind of life we live.
How do Catholic disciples do this? I wonder how often we invite prospective disciples into our lives and work and worship. For Sundays, Catholics inviting friends to come to Mass with them, and maybe attend a church event. For those of us who serve the parish in various ways: do we bring teens with us to sick calls, musicians to infant baptisms, newcomers to service opportunities? Do people see just the final result: the polished Sunday Mass, the return of a parishioner to good health, or the thank-you plaque in the parish hall?
There’s nothing like taking time for one-on-one connections, whether you’re a bishop or a catechumen. Nothing will replace modelling Christ for being an effective evangelizer.