This Thanksgiving, may we be more intentionally grateful for the many excellent clergy and religious that God has given the Church.
Particularly this year, we need to be thinking of those who answered God’s call and are serving with devotion and integrity. Despite the scandals, the Church is full of excellent priests, deacons, and religious who bring happiness to all of us, especially when they administer the sacraments, where we encounter the Lord intimately.
Recently my family experienced the joy that only Christ can give when my daughter received her First Holy Communion from her godfather, Fr. Eric Roush. Acknowledging Fr. Eric, a gentleman sitting in front of us that day told me, “You picked a good one.” My wife and I might deserve a little credit, but it was God who chose Fr. Eric for the priesthood and placed him in our daughter’s life.
National Vocation Awareness Week is Nov. 4–10 this year. (Find more information at CDmag.net/2MLVQsT.) In his column, Bishop Robert Reed explains how we might change our approach in striving to increase vocations.
Many in the Church are rightfully angry as they hear news once again of clergy sexual abuse. Also in our November 2018 issue, we have an excerpt from Fr. Thomas Berg’s recent book Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics. For additional insight from Fr. Tom, read his interview from our January/February 2018 issue at CDmag.net/2QcEDe0.
This month, I’m thankful for the deacon who witnessed my marriage (my wife’s former high school principal), the Dominican priest who blessed our home, the deacon who baptized our children, the priest who anointed my father-in-law while he was ill, my predecessor at Catholic Digest (Robyn Lee, now Sr. Mary Mercy Lee of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist), and many others.
Perhaps the Lord is calling your son, daughter, grandchild, or the devout young person that sits near you at Mass to a religious vocation. Reach out with a kind word of encouragement; pray for them.
In his message for the 2018 World Day of Vocations, Pope Francis taught:
Today the Lord continues to call others to follow him. We should not wait to be perfect in order to respond with our generous “yes,” nor be fearful of our limitations and sins, but instead open our hearts to the voice of the Lord. To listen to that voice, to discern our personal mission in the Church and the world, and at last to live it in the today that God gives us.
You are in my prayers,