The 'Francis Effect' on vocations

by FATHER WALTER SZCZESNY
Sat, Feb 21st 2015 08:00 am
Pope Francis meets with seminarians from the Pontifical Roman universities at the Vatican.
Pope Francis meets with seminarians from the Pontifical Roman universities at the Vatican.

Every year the Diocesan Vocation Office produces and distributes a vocation poster to every parish in the diocese. This year the poster was done in two sizes and it focuses on Pope Francis as he ordains a young man to the priesthood at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Both of the posters contain a quote from Pope Francis on vocations. Have you seen these posters in your church or school?

The large poster states, "To become a priest or religious is not primarily our choice; it is our answer to a calling, a calling of love."

The smaller poster states, "The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and your joy."

These short and beautiful quotes are just two of the many statements that Pope Francis has made on the topic of vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life. He has spoken openly of his own story of discernment and the great joy he has experienced in serving God's people in his native Argentina. He spoke forcefully to millions of youth at World Youth Day to "shake up the world and their parishes" as they live out their faith as a witness and model to others. Pope Francis has also preached a lifestyle that is simple and non-materialistic as we reach out in service to God and God's people.

Many who come now to discuss a possible religious vocation have mentioned that Pope Francis has been a strong influence on their consideration of a calling by God. Some vocation directors have dubbed it the "Francis Effect." Pope Francis has a strong influence on all aspects of our lives as Roman Catholics. We thank him for living out his vocation as a model and influence to others.

Is God calling you to serve as a priest, sister, brother or deacon?
Contact Father Walter Szczesny in the Vocation office via email or 716-847-5535.
 

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