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October 18, 1996     The Message
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October 18, 1996

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18, 1996 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 WASHINGTON (CNS) -- ewer parents encourage their consider a religious because of an altered of success" in the Unit- States, according to the direr- of the U.S. bishops' Secre- for Vocations and Priestly Father Timothy T. Reker, a of the Diocese of Winona, who has headed the sec- since July, wrote about When Parents Just ntal 'concept of success' affecting vocations, priest says the Center for Applied Research lar paycheck" and "service in the ments, biting critiques. Say No" in the November isste of Catholic Digest. "Support for religious voca- tions is indeed weak among those whose support is most needed -- parents," said Father Reker in the Catholic Digest article. "Apparently, priestly and reli- gious life, which were acceptable, even highly regarded career choices decades ago, are less so now," said Father Reker, who was commenting on a recent study of young adult Catholics by . ,f POPE JOHN PAUL II in his message for WORtD MISSION SUNDAY z October 20, reminds us: "The Holy Spirit sends every baptized person to proclaim and bear witness to Christ to all nations. Today Christ asks each baptized person: ! 'Will you be my witness ?"" ON WORtD #tlSSlON Su00aY, IN PRAYER AND GENEROUS SACRIFICE: TAKE YOUR PART IN THE WOREDWIDE AtISSION OF JESHSf. PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH to the worldwide mission of Jesus Schlachter, Mission Director P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 World Mission Sunday: $50 1 $75  $25 1 $10 lOther$ State Zip The $ociet) when wrihhg or chang/ng you/" Will r in the Apostolate. The study showed that although 36 percent of young men and 24 percent of young women had thought about a vocation to the priesthood or reli- gious life, only 26 percent of young men and 15 percent of young women had reported parental encouragement of that possibility. In the past, "success meant steady employment and a regu- Candidates for priesthood Joe Hoang and Tony Ernst will publicly proclaim their intentions to seek Holy Orders, in cere- monies scheduled at the seminm'- ies they are attending, Oct. 26. Both men are preparing for priest- hood for the Diocese of Evansville. Hoang, at/eft, a member of St. Joseph Church, Evansville, is a fourth.year theology student at St. Meinrad. Ernst, below, from St. Peter Celestine Church, Celestine, is a third.year theology student at Mundelein Seminary, near Chicago. church was honorable," Father Reker wrote. "Now, however, as U.S. Catholics have advanced eco- nomically, they've changed their concept of success," he added. "Today, it frequently includes massive earning power, accumu- lation of" wealth, and a presti- gious profession." That concept of success also causes parents to pressure their children "to major in business or another lucrative field rather than in English, history, art, phi- losophy or education," Father Reker wrote. "The advice that 'teachers don't make much money!' is heard in the same homes where parents demand quality school- ing," he added. "The irony escapes them." But parents also discourage vocations to the priesthood or religious life because of concerns that their children will be lonely or not give them grandchildren, said Father Reker. Parents may also be influenced by the nega- tive media images prompted by the sexual misconduct "ofa tiny percentage of priests," or because of the parents' own attitudes toward the church. Father Reker said. The priest said that cases of sexual misconduct "are an embarrassment to all Catholics." but added that "it needs to be rec- ognized . . . that as horrific as cases of pedophilia are, they involve a tiny percentage of priests." Such misconduct, he noted, taints any profession that deals with children and families. "When parents have difficulty with the chhrch, encouraging sons and daughters to serve in the church becomes complicat- ed," he continued. "It is easy for a parent to pass on a bias or agenda without realizing it: in snide comments, negative judg- 0000bappingOuibe KREMPP LUMBER CO. BUILDING MATERIAL SUPPLIES & GENERAL CONTRACTING HOMECENTER CONSTRUCTION 482-1961 482-6838 I JASPER LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING SERVICE Ph: 482-1125 RT. 4, JASPER III Son Christian Books & Gifts Bey & Charlie Mendel, owners 181,)IB4-TI66 46JacSt Jasp.tNtT546 i I I I I I Wade Funeral Home ! 19 S. Vine Street, Haubstadt, IN 768-5210 Call about pre:need counseling. Robert J. Wade I I Alan J. Wade i II I I I I II III II "As a result, some young per- sons may never know the church as a place of comfort and chal- lenge, of helping others, and of meeting God," he said. Father Reker said the U.S. bishops' three-year national strategy on vocations, called "A Future Full of Hope," rightly states that parents "must be included as important partners in building a positive climate fi)r vocations." He said the church must "address head-on parents' atti- tudes toward success, their understanding of church and vocation, and even their images of religious life." In an interview with the Flori- da Catholic in Orlando, Father Reker said he recently asked high school boys if they would like to be priests someday. Their first response was, "How much do you make?" People are told they can do whatever they want, be whatev- er the)' want to be, he added, but in terms of true happiness, being someone who really makes a dif- ference in the lives of others is the key. Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Odgensburg, N.Y., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Vocations and Priestly Forma- tion. said in the same interview that in these days of decreasing family size, parents sometimes worry, that a religious vocation will diminish the chance of "car- D4ng err the (family) name" with grandchildren. But it is a matter of priorities, he said. The bishop said he is an only child, but his parents only con- cerned themselves with whether a vocation was what he and God wanted. He told the story o a lawyer he knew. The young man told Bishop Loverde that he had everything -- money, a nice car, great vacations -- but something was missing. He is now a priest and couldn't be happier, the bish- op said. "All the glitz isn't the answer," the bishop said. "You have to ful- fill the inner need of the human spirit. To transcend oneself and give your life for others can meet that need.  He urged people to pray and to realize that things seem to be turning around. "My sense is that we are going to experience an increase in voca- tions," he said. "I see an enthusi- asm that we need to harness and develop. Ultimately, it is God's work. I can't believe in a God that does not provide for the future." Contributing to this story was Steve Paradis in Orlando. I I i g MUENSTERMAN S FIRESTONE SERVICE, INC. 1400 W. Franklin Evansville, IN 424-5000 I I I I i I iin DEWIG BROS. PACKING CO. FRESH MEAT BEEF AND PORK HAUBSTADT, INDIANA I I I I r I II I I I I I Iiii11 1 : IJIll I  :11 IJl II