Positive momentum

Why vocations are booming in Los Angeles archdiocese
(photo from Angelus article/shutterstock.com)

(photo from Angelus article/shutterstock.com)

The following comes from an August Angelus article by Father Steve Davoren and Father Sam Ward:

We both love sports. There is a curious thing in sports called momentum. It’s a mysterious phenomenon that’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Why is it that a team can go from being hopelessly inept at one point in a game to all of a sudden the players can do no wrong? And conversely, why is it that the other team suddenly can do nothing right? It’s vexing when you’re on the wrong side of momentum and exhilarating when it’s going your way.

Good or positive momentum builds on itself. So does bad momentum. Another way to put it: success breeds success.

These are helpful examples to show why vocations are booming in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In recent years, we have seen great success in the increase in priestly vocations. The momentum is building and success continues to breed success.

As vocation directors, many people ask us why this is so. The answer is multifaceted:

› We rely always on the grace of God and the action of the Holy Spirit.

› We continually ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests and Religious, to intercede for us.

› Tons of Holy Hours and adoration and rosaries for vocations. Prayer is essential!

› Vocations are a main Pastoral Priority of Archbishop José H. Gomez. He is immensely supportive of vocations.

› Our team approach to vocations. Everyone is a stakeholder. We must all do our part to build a new a culture of vocations in the archdiocese.
› More and more priests are encouraging and inviting young people to consider the priesthood and religious life, and supporting them along the journey of discernment.

› Ninety-three current joyful and holy L.A. seminarians who inspire others to consider the priesthood, including 26 new seminarians this fall.
› Two seminaries (Juan Diego House and St. John’s) that are at or approaching capacity — a full seminary conveys the hope and promise that vocations are plentiful.

› Monthly discernment group meetings in each pastoral region, oftentimes with 15 to 20 discerners in attendance. Men aren’t showing up to discernment events that are deserted; they are full and vibrant.

› Men in discernment who are bonding as brothers even before they enter the seminary and support each other along the way. No one is alone in this process. One discerns with the Church and in the Church — accompaniment and fellowship are crucial.

It has been such a blessing in recent years to see classes of seven to nine men ordained as priests each spring, including nine new priests this past June 4. On Aug. 13, another seven were ordained as transitional deacons. Last October, we had 19 L.A. men in the first year of theology go through the formal Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders at St. John’s Seminary. These seminarians still have four more years of seminary formation to complete. Overall, it’s a long journey to become a priest.

Imagine if in 2020 all 19 of these men were ordained as priests for the archdiocese in the same year! That’s our hope and our reason for joy. Success is breeding success. The momentum in vocations is going strong. Let’s pray that by God’s grace this amazing trend continues.

In sports, good momentum may lead to a win that day or even an unlikely championship. Ours is a different momentum in the Church. It’s the grace of the Holy Spirit moving in the hearts of believers and inspiring many of them to lifelong service in the Church as priests or religious. And the results are not momentary, like hoisting a championship trophy or receiving an Olympic Gold Medal. They are much more important and lasting than that — growth in holiness and service in the Church in this life and one day life eternal in heaven.

Comments

  1. Well done, LA archdiocese.

    Before this story ran, I called St. Johns in Camarillo and spoke with one of their administrators: they have “about 60 or so” (he said) major seminarians —for LA—in the 5 years of theology training. It was, as this article explains, because there are nearly 20 in the new 1st-year class alone, a number more than anticipated.

    I think we at times have become suspicious of the sometimes-over-reporting of diocese vocational prospects: it is a long winnowing process. Many dioceses state they have “40 or 50” in their total program–but I have found these numbers are usually very “soft”: that number usually includes 2- or more years’ collegiate pre-theology training: Over the 7-year process,…

  2. Jim McCrea says:

    It isn’t who starts but, rather, (1) who finishes, and (2) who is still active 5 or 10 years post ordination.

  3. Anthony G. says:

    I hope they are screening the candidates, and meticulously evaluating and counseling them so there are no homosexuals or pedophiles.

  4. We have been hearing that “vocations are booming” now for two decades. “The faithful orders are filled to the brim” etc. etc. There’s even a radio show called “Vocation Boom.” While there may be positive signs here and there, and such signs are certain good, there’s zero evidence of a “boom” in religious vocations. 19 ordinations in a year (if that were to even happen) is still a drop in the bucket for 4.3 million Catholics. Even 190 would be a drop in the bucket. Yes we should be thankful for the 19, but we should also not assume that the priest shortage has passed. Pray for vocations.

    • Former Altar Boy says:

      More vocations are a step in the right direction but it will take ages to make up for the years of little to no ordinations under Mahoney. And will this men be proficient in Latin, the language of the Church, upon graduation?

  5. I know personally Frs. Davoren and Ward. They are good, holy priests who live and preach the gospel, and who love Jesus and His Church. May the good work that God has begun in these candidates come to fulfillment on the day of the Lord.

    • Thank you for the information, Fr. Perozich. We should all pray for these men and any others who are being ordained or have been ordained. Often even the priests who start off slightly on the wrong track change when they find out they are wrong or have been deceived. Fr. Mitch Pacwa was at first fooled by such things as the enneagram, but later wrote good books against such things and told why they are wrong. We all make mistakes some times.

  6. To add to the poster who inquired about what percent complete the ordination process, and are active priests five or ten yeats later, do these new seminarians ‘cover’ the loss to retirement and other events?

  7. Catherine says:

    “Men in discernment who are bonding as brothers even before they enter the seminary and support each other along the way. No one is alone in this process. One discerns with the Church and in the Church — accompaniment and fellowship are crucial.”

    Not sure how to vote in the U.S. election? Here’s Cardinal Burke’s advice

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-to-u.s.-voters-consider-candidate-who-defend-life-family-fre

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.

Speak Your Mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.