The religious vocation crisis in the west was a topic of discussion for many years, but now we have the same problem facing the Korean church.
A religious sister, a high school teacher,
writes in the Kyeongyang magazine on the issue.
According to the Catholic Peace Network in 2013 we had 11,734 religious.
At present comparing with the past this was an increase of 74.1% for
the men religious and 48.6 % for the women. When we look at the
statistics all seems rosy but the reality is different.
comparison to 1994 the number of men religious preparing for vows
decreased 41 % and the women has decreased 67%. Over half of the
religious orders have no one in formation.
This is not
simply a problem in the church for the reasons affects all of
society. The signs of the times are not only confined to the
Pope Francis at the end of the year of the
Consecrated Life in his talk to the religious stressed the three pillars
of the religious life: prophecy, proximity and hope. The pope is
telling people that there is a path to happiness and grandeur, a path
that fills you with joy. If we lived this life would the crisis end?
sister has talked to many of the young who are not interested in the
religious life. They have little knowledge of the spiritual life and
living in a complicated world. We don't only have a crisis of vocations
but a crisis of society. What are we to do?
in a time where values are missing. How am I to live? This is the guide
for life. They are surrounded with materialism, invited to find ways to
make money. They are absorbed in finding employment, make money and be a
big class consumer. Is there any thought of the kind of person they
want to be? Asking the young what they want to be is a dangerous
The pope speaks about the prophetic life.This
is not difficult for it requires saying no when a no is required and
yes to a required yes. We need to be strong in our quest for truth. We
are prepped to look for success, results. Society, she says,
sees us as means to achieve goals and when not needed discarded as a
spare part. In her own teaching profession she wonders how much her own
encounters with the students are person to person.
concludes the articles by telling the readers that we should not
concentrate on the problems or be obsessed with the numbers entering the
religious life but to be hopeful and remember that we are to work in
the building of Christ's kingdom. Isn't this for a Christian, the reason for the creation
of the world, the reason we are here. How we are to live is the decision that follows on this.