Wednesday, May 02, 2007

BANGALORE: Vocations, 21st Century Crisis, Say Serra Club Members

Serrans Claim Lack of Vocations is the Crisis of 21st Century

Bangalore, April 30, 2007:

On Vocation Sunday Worldwide, members of the Serra international Club called the attention of Catholics to the dwindling numbers of priestly and religious vocations terming it as the crisis of the 21st century, April 29,2007 in Bangalore

Speaking from the pulpit after the Masses in Holy Ghost Church, the President of the Serra Club, Ms Jeanette D'Souza, asked the faithful to rise to the occasion so that the future generations would have sufficient priests to minister to the local Church and sufficient religious to carry on charitable acts towards society.

She asked the people to pray because more things are wrought through prayer than the world dreams of and Jesus himself said that the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few asking us to pray to the Father to send more labourers into the harvest.

Ms. Jeanette said that Serra Club asked people to join the 1-M club which merely asked people to commit to participate in one extra Mass a month and to offer it for the intentions of vocations to priesthood and religious life.

Stating facts from Irish data, the President said, since November 2000, 1,173 Irish priests have died while in the same period only 101 Irish priests have been ordained. In 2005 alone 199 Irish priests died, whereas only 8 priests were newly ordained in Ireland.

Redemptorist Fr. Joseph Roy preaching the homily on the Fourth Sunday of Easter said that the figure of the Good Shepherd presented in the Gospel reading beackons young people to commit their life for the Church service.

He also encouraged people to sign up for the 1-M Club sponsored by the Serra International, which had put up stalls in the premises of the Holy Ghost Church.

Unless the youth realize the potential in giving one's life for Christ the world will lack spiritual guidance, he claimed.

Through a well-worded sermon, the priest fired the imagination of the listeners to pray and offer their children to God's service lest the Church be poor in spiritual leadership in the future.

On Good Shepherd Sunday, the Holy Father greeted the people and emphasized that the call to the ordained and consecrated life in the Church is a call to communion - a communion rooted in the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

He invited the faithful gathered for the Angelus Message at St. Peter's square, to pray that young people will answer this call to communion and the service of the Church by responding generously to Christ's call to priesthood and religious life.

According to the Vatican sources the Holy Father, who ordained 22 new priests on this day, urged the faithful to pray for the perseverance for all priests so that they may remain faithful to prayer and celebrate the Holy Mass with ever-renewed devotion and that they may listen to the Word of God and assimilate the sentiments of Christ the Good Shepherd.

He also and said Jesus has called these young men to become fishers of men to be more direct co-workers in the proclamation of the Gospel and the service of the Kingdom of God in our time.

Stating the theme of the day as "At the Service of the Church as Communion", the Pope said the Second Vatican Council in presenting the mystery of the Church in our time favoured the category of Communion.

In this perspective, the rich variety of gifts and offices of the people of God is highlighted. And the entire baptized are called to contribute to the work of salvation.

In the Church however, some vocations are especially dedicated to the service of coummunion, he stated.
He said the Pope is primarily responsible for Catholic communion as the successor of Peter and Bishop of Rome. With him the bishops, successors of the apostles, are caretakers and teaches of unity. The priests help the bishops.

However, consecrated persons and all the faithful are also at the service of communion. The Eucharist is at the heart of the Church as communion from this greatest sacrament the various vocations draw the spiritual strength to continually build up the one ecclesial body in charity.

The Pope called Mary as the Mother of the Good Shepherd and asked her intercession to welcome with joy and availability Christ's invitation to be his disciples always animated by the desire to form one heart and one soul.

Serra Club of Bangalore, the first in India, was set up on November 4,2002 by the then Archbishop Ignatius Pinto.

The Serrans preached in many Churches in Bangalore yesterday urging people to pray for vocations.

Initially started in the US under the inspiration of the Franciscan Friar Serra, who worked for vocations to priestly and religious life, the club today is spread over the world and is named after him.

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