In a pastoral letter published for Seminary Day 2008, the Archbishop of Sevilla, Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, said the entire ecclesial community should “help” God so that young people called to the priesthood would respond to their vocation.
“When we speak of the Seminary,” the cardinal wrote, “we should not only consider it the place of formation for seminarians, but also as a place that belongs to us all, and that we must always consider as a personal duty.”
The cardinal explained that the new candidates preparing to be priests “are also our responsibility. We must ‘help’ God so that his call may find an answer in the hearts of men.”
Therefore, he continued, in order to launch an “enthusiastic and effective vocations campaign,” we need to begin by “talking to God and tell him of the need his Church has for priests. Pray to him and trust that his help will not falter,” the cardinal stressed.
“Then, we should talk about God to families and young people and tell them what the Lord wants and what the Church needs: priests who serve the community. May there be young people willing to be these kinds of servants,” he added.
“The Lord continues to inspire the hearts of young people with the desire to serve Jesus Christ and his Church,” the cardinal continued, but often times they are fearful of making a “generous and brave decision” to “take the path towards the priesthood.”
Therefore, he said, “let us draw young people close to Christ, let us put them at his side and let them see the face of the Lord. Everything else will be added besides.”
“The family is where, with the support of the parents, the call to the priesthood can be best heard. The family is the school of the highest ideals. It is also the school of the vocation to the priesthood. May parents remind their children that if Jesus calls them, they should not be afraid,” Cardinal Amigo said.
“We hope to have your help to maintain the Seminary, but above all, to have your prayers imploring the Lord, Father and Shepherd of our Church, to grant us the vocations that we need,” he wrote in conclusion.