PASIG City, Nov. 13, 2012—When it comes to religious and priestly vocation, quality is more important than quantity, so said a religious nun.
When asked about the decreasing numbers of those responding to priesthood or religious life vocation, the nun thinks it is a very important thing to consider not the number but the quality of commitment from those who want to enter the priesthood or religious life.
The Benedictine nun was one of the many religious sisters and clergy who participated in the recent 5th Vocation Festival held last November 11 at St. Paul College in Pasig.
The festival, organized by the Directors of Vocation in the Philippines (DVP) in the National Capital Region to raise awareness on faith and vocation, has gathered several thousands of young people.
Sr. Mary Paul also said that religious vocation is a call to a closer intimacy with Christ.
“That means to develop a certain feeling of desire for Christ through prayer, joining activities in the Church, to be near Him and also embracing life with Him. If a young person can feel that there is a desire to be with Christ, he/she can befriend a vocation promoter to know how to deepen the vocation that the young person is choosing,” the Benedictine nun said.
She also suggested to those who are discerning about their vocation to really ask and pray to God for enlightenment.
Awakens faith, vocation
Fr. Jhun Sanchez, the regional vocation director of NCR said this year’s vocation festival also gave prominence to the celebration of the Year of Faith.
“This year, we are celebrating the Year of Faith and at the same time, we have a new Filipino saint who is the model of the Filipino youth. The vocation festival is an opportunity to invite our young people to awaken their faith and at the same time, their vocation,” Sanchez said.
He added that the main object of vocation is to know the life of Christ and that the youth may appreciate it.
“The activity wherein they were broken into groups or circles was for our young people to open the door of faith and for them to be able to look at the meaning or to situate themselves on the real meaning of vocation,” he emphasized.
Sanchez mentioned that during one of the breakthrough circle, a young man asked him if being a catechist is considered a vocation.
“I answered that even being a catechist and the commitment to catechize can be considered a vocation. And also the missionary dimension is also a vocation. Like our two Filipino saints who were both catechists and missionaries,” Sanchez expressed.
Meanwhile, Fr. Ransom Rapirap, OCD, the vocation director for the Order of Discalced Carmelite emphasized that vocation promoters don’t force young people to enter priesthood or religious life.
“Vocation is not just a one way direction but a calling from God which we should respond. So, event like this makes us thankful that the young say yes when they attended. But the aim of this is not necessarily to force them to enter the religious life but to bring them back to the awareness of faith,” Rapirap said.
He said the young must be aware of Christ’s presence in their daily life because their vocation will awaken when they are always with Christ.
Rapirap furthered that they will remain open to young people who have the desire to enter the priesthood or religious life and they are also prepared to give guidance to those who will choose the life of single blessedness or the married life.
Aside from young people and diocesan vocation directors from 7 dioceses, there were also 79 religious congregations that participated in the regional event.
The 1st diocesan vocation CD was also launched with the endorsement of Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara. (Jandel Posion)