An assumption that we are hearing all those who are responding:
315. In view of the shortage of people responding to the vocation to the priesthood and consecrated life in many places in Latin America and the Caribbean, special care must urgently be given to promoting vocations, cultivating those environments propitious for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, with the certainty that Jesus is still calling disciples and missionaries to be with Him and to send them forth to preach the Kingdom of God. This Fifth Conference issues an urgent call to all Christians, and especially to youth, to be open to a possible call from God to the priesthood or to religious life; it reminds them that the Lord will give them the grace necessary to respond decisively and generously, despite the problems generated by a secularized culture centered on consumerism and pleasure. We invite families to recognize the blessing of a child called by God to this consecration and to support his or her decision and journey of vocational response. We encourage priests to give witness to a happy life, joy, enthusiasm, and holiness in the Lord’s service.
These thoughts are all well-considered, and there’s nothing as such wrong about them. It’s just what is missing: that unless the body of Catholic laity are themselves formed as disciples to go “forth to preach the Kingdom of God,” we will always be at a loss when it comes to leadership in the clergy and in vowed religious life. If the world’s Catholic billion were mostly solid disciples, I think commitments to particular ministries would find a wider openness among young people. It’s got to be baptism first, then the rest follows.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.