Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Changes in Vocation Recruitment

Today is Vocation Sunday. We are all called for mission but today we are thinking of those who make this a full time decision. The Korean Church for many years has been blessed with many vocations but a change is coming.

The editorial in the Catholic paper mentioned how today all the seminaries will be open for visitors and all kinds of programs and events to commemorate this day will be operating . This year, however, they mentioned that it is not with a happy heart but with concern for the future. In Seoul at the last meeting of the priests’ senate they spent most of their time taking about the future of vocations. They recalled the times when they looked at the Church in Europe and foresaw that the time would also come to Korea and it seems that it has arrived.

The thought that things would continue indefinitely with an abundance of vocations was an illusion. The big changes that came with the Korean prosperity have brought a change in our thinking. The editorial went on to say there is a drop in interest in religion, the influence of religion on society has diminished, a loss of respect for authority, the openness of sex, the drop in births, all have been signs of this change in our vocation picture.

The time has come to make different efforts to continue the blessings that we have received over the years but now seem to be threatened by the change in our culture.

We as Maryknollers have been faced with this change over some years now. When I was ordained we had so many that we were faced with problems of where to put the seminarians. We had to build seminaries and were very particular in who to accept. This has changed and we pray that things will get better but there is no sign that this will come anytime soon.