Bishop Demetrio Fernandez of Cordoba, Spain called on parents to support their sons who feel they have a vocation to the priesthood and to consider it a gift from God for their families and the Church.
“Mothers and fathers, if your son says he wants to go to the seminary, don’t hinder him in any way. Don’t be responsible for hindering something from God,” the bishop said in his weekly pastoral letter.
“Don't hold him back, for whatever excuse. If that vocational seed dries up, whose fault will it be?”
Referring to the ordination of two new priests on Sept. 29 in his diocese, Bishop Fernandez said the event will be “an occasion to thank God for these gifts, as well continue to pray that he send laborers, because the harvest is plenty and the laborers are few.”
This year, he noted, 25 new candidates have entered the Seminary of Cordoba – nine in the major seminary and 16 in the minor.
During his remarks, Bishop Fernandez also called on priests, catechists and teachers to talk to children and young people about a call to the priesthood with love and encourage them to be open to a vocation.
“When a child or young man is excited about his future, point out to them examples of a life of priestly service, like those of so many holy priests such as St. John of Avila or the Cure of Ars,” he added.
In his letter, Bishop Fernandez touched on the new school year that has begun, the Year of Faith and the proclamation of St. John of Avila as Doctor of the Church, the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council, the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization.
“These are not separate issues, but rather they all flow towards the same objective: to know and deepen in the love of God manifested in Christ and to make others participants in the full communion of the Church, under the guidance of the Magisterium and with the testimony of the saints, so that everyone might enjoy divine life on earth and for all of eternity,” he said.