.- The Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, has taken on the challenge of creating a vocation culture by encouraging the faithful to pray for all vocations and, in particular, for new vocations to the priesthood.
The diocese’s Vocation Office announced the new plan on a Web site. It is inviting people to make a commitment and become Seventh Trumpet Heralds. Their commitment would include promoting all vocations by: praying for vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life and marriage; encouraging men and women to live their chosen vocations faithfully, and; supporting men and women when they enter a seminary or religious community.
The diocese is also looking for 1,000 people to commit to attending monthly mass at St. Joseph Cathedral, followed by a half-hour of adoration, to pray for priestly vocations in particular. To date, more than 400 hundred people have signed up. The first mass is scheduled for Jan. 8.
The diocese is suffering from major priest shortage. One year ago, there were 109 priests in full-time ministry, 64 percent of whom were older than 50. At the current rate, the number of priests in full-time ministry will drop to about 75 by 2012.
For more information on the vocations project, go to: http://www.liveinblackandwhite.com.