She said something that caught me by surprise! She thanked me for my service as a priest! She mentioned that we thank those who have served in the military for their service and that those who serve in ministry should be thanked as well especially in these difficult times. She then shared with me that her brother was a Brother in the church. She herself was not a Catholic but her brother was a Catholic convert who had helped in the process of petitioning for the beatification of Elizabeth Ann Seton. It was an unexpected encounter I had with this woman and a brief one but I greatly appreciated her thankfulness for my vocation. I assume her relationship with her brother, the Brother, made her aware of the sacrifices necessary to live a vocation of service.
Another recent event made me aware of the kindness and appreciation I receive from those I am blessed to serve. At OLOL there was a coffee hour after Mass and I was given a four pack of Guinness Extra Stout. I was told that that Monday was “Buy Your Priest a Beer Day”! I was doubtful that such a day existed and was surprised to find information about it on-line, (must have been of Irish origin). I must say that these two recent events have strengthen my resolve to serve as a priest in the church. In the light of the pain and suffering of sexual abuse that has been caused by priests it is a blessing to know that not all priest are judged by the sins of the few. I greatly appreciate the support you have given me and the prayers you offer for me each day. You help to empower my priestly vocation.
As I soon will be 69 years old I am ever aware that the vocation of priesthood always needs young men to hear the call of the Good Shepherd to serve God’s People. I encourage you to pray for vocations and to encourage young men to study for the priesthood. Below is a list of qualities and characteristics of a prospective priesthood candidate. Read over the list and if the name of a potential candidate comes to mind, encourage them to pray about and to consider the call to the priesthood.
Thanks again for your loving support. God blessings and peace, Father Bill
• A personal relationship with God integrated through prayer and seen as important part of his life.
• Has the ability and willingness to talk about his faith.
• Has some involvement in his local parish.
• Has the desire to serve others.
• Motivated by the mission of Jesus and has an ability to articulate it.
• Willing to sacrifice personally for the service of the Gospel.
• Possesses a keen sense of empathy.
• A person of integrity.
• An awareness of God’s omnipotent presence.
• Others have mentioned that he would make a good priest.
• One who is approachable.
• Possesses a psycho-sexual-socio maturity.
• Has the ability to collaborate with others.
• Takes initiative and takes responsibility for his actions.
• Possesses the skills of self-mastery and discipline.
• Has shown the capacity and evidence of living a chaste celibate life.
• Has healthy relationships with men, women and children.
• Has average intelligence, common sense, good physical & emotional health.
• The celebration of the Sacraments are important to him.
• Has the ability to nurture another person's growth.
• Is open to and respectful of all people.
• Recognizes the need to both give and accept support from others. Resource: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Vocations