The Bishops’ Conference of Spain reminded the Christian community last week that it needs to be committed to the promotion and formation of priestly vocations and said the decline in the number of priests should not be passively accepted as a “sign of the times.”
In their message for Seminary Day, the bishops encouraged the faithful to strengthen their faith and hope “in the conviction that God continues calling people” who are capable of devoting themselves to service in the priesthood. He added that no matter how many seminarians there are—currently there are 1,300 in Spain—they are always “a gift from God for which we must show appreciation and gratitude.”
Considering the need that the Church has of more priests, the bishops continued, listening to the call of God and following this vocation is “to understand the essential place of this ministry in the life of the Church and the importance of its mission in the world.”
The bishops said that the theme for Seminary Day this year, “If you hear his voice,” refers to the inability to listen that characterizes the dominant culture, where “noise and so-called sound pollution” prevail, as well as the loss of interior silence. “It is urgent that we recover the concept of silence, because listening and silence go hand in hand,” the bishops explained.
In their statement, the bishops invited the faithful to pray that the Lord “would continue granting priests to his Church,” since praying for vocations is a fundamental aspect of priestly vocation ministry.