.- A priest in the Archdiocese of Denver is launching an effort to increase prayers for vocations during the city's upcoming marathon next month, telling CNA that there is a “great need” for vocations and that many young men and women in society “are not responding to the call.”
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon, which will be held on Oct. 17, draws thousands of participants to Colorado's capital city each year, many of whom run to raise funds for specific causes. Rather than asking for financial pledges, however, Fr. Jim Crisman – director of vocations for the Denver archdiocese – is having runners ask for prayer pledges in the time leading up to the race.
Athletes who have signed up for the Run4Vocations initiative will run in the marathon as part of a relay team. They are asking the faithful to pledge prayers for an increase in vocations to Holy Orders and Consecrated Life within the archdiocese.
“There is a great need in the Archdiocese of Denver for more priests,” Fr. Crisman told CNA in an e-mail on Tuesday. “Additionally there is a great need for more men and women in Consecrated vocations.”
“Today we are witnessing a generous response by many of our young men and women to the Lord’s call to a supernatural vocation,” he wrote. “Even so, there are more who are being called and not responding to the call.”
When asked how many new students have entered the burgeoning Denver seminary, Fr. Crisman said that the “final count for the year is not yet in, but we have about 75 men in formation for the Archdiocese of Denver this year.”
“Archbishop Chaput ordained 5 men last spring and we accepted a dozen new men this fall,” he added. “Things are going well but the need keeps growing.”
Fr. Crisman said that individuals wishing to participate in the event can visit the website www.priest4christ.com.
“When they click on the 'RUN' tab at the top of the page, and choose the 'PRAYER PLEDGES' button they will be taken to a page where they can register their prayer pledges and join us in asking the Lord for an increase in vocations to Holy Orders and Consecrated Life,” he explained.
In addition, the priest noted, “the page also shows some of the runners involved and gives a short bio on each.” Fr. Crisman remarked to CNA, “we would love to have supporters at the event both cheering and praying. If anyone would like to join the growing list of runners we would welcome that as well.”
When asked what served as his inspiration for starting the Run4Vocations effort, Fr. Crisman explained that the Archdiocese of Washington has a similar program.
“A college friend of mine has run in a marathon there for years raising money for their vocations office,” he said. “Seeing the opportunity to get people more involved in supporting vocations and raising prayer support for our vocation candidates made me begin this program here in Denver.”