During the presentation on Tuesday morning of Pope John Paul’s Letter to the Priests, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and Archbishop Csaba Ternyak –Secretary of the same dicastery- said that priests who are faithful to their vocation are an inspiration for new vocations among young people.
During the presentation of the Letter, which the Pope traditionally releases on Holy Thursday, Cardinal Castrillon emphasized “the intimate connection of the sacrament of the Eucharist with the ordained priesthood,” as well as “the irreplaceable nature of the ordained ministry.”
The Cardinal then said that the Pontiff also wants to stress in his letter the need of a “vocational pastoral” care.
Prayer for vocations “must be accompanied by pastoral care with the purpose of understanding life is a vocation and that God calls some of us to follow Him more closely in communion with Him and in self-giving.”
“Therefore,” he added, “Christian families have an important and invaluable mission and a responsibility for vocations, especially through the parish, to help them to correspond in a generous and conscious way.”
Archbishop Ternyak, for his part, said that it is necessary “to speak to young people directly in order to show them the beauty of Catholic priesthood, lived out with a heart full of love for God and for others, and by men who happily consecrate themselves and their freedom to the service of their brothers and sisters.”
“One of the fundamental tools of vocational pastoral care is the priest himself, with fidelity to his vocation and enthusiasm in the exercise of the ministry. (The Church needs) men in love with the Eucharist who can help young people to discover their devotion for a vocation of ontological identification with Christ who offers Himself for the salvation of all and who becomes a gift in the Eucharist,” he concluded.