At the end of his talk to the youth at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, Pope Benedict turned to the topic of vocation. He emphasized that families are indispensable for forming vocations to the priesthood, religious life and to the married life.
He noted how baptism made it possible to receive “the greatest gift of your life.” He urged the crowd to pray for struggling mothers and fathers.
“Let us honor the vocation of matrimony,” Pope Benedict said. “It is in families that vocations are given life.” He told seminarians to reject “any temptation to ostentation, careerism, or conceit. Strive for a pattern of life truly marked by charity, chastity and humility, in imitation of Christ.”
He encouraged young people to the life of apostolic or contemplative service, noting the importance of the charisms of the Holy Spirit in forming religious orders. “No perfect community exists,” the Pope said, “but it is fidelity to a founding charism, not to particular individuals, that the Lord calls you to discern.”
Pope Benedict declared the Church to be a “community of hope.”
“The hope which never disappoints is Jesus Christ,” he continued. “The saints show us the selfless love of his way.”
“Show the world the reason for the hope that resonates within you. Tell others about the truth that sets you free.”
The Pope encouraged the audience to reach out, especially to the vulnerable and innocent, so that people could join the “way of goodness and hope.”
“God is our origin and our destination, and Jesus the way,” he said.
Following the Pope’s address, Kerry Wakulich, a seminarian for the Diocese of Tulsa, told CNA that he thought, “it cool that he said ‘you’re growing in numbers’”. He also mentioned that he saw the Pope’s message about vocations starting in the family as important.