Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Over the next few days, I will be with seminarians from the Diocese of Grand Rapids at their end of summer convocation. It is an important time for them as it provides an opportunity for learning, recreation, and prayer. It is especially important as it is one of the few times that the college and major seminarians spend time together. My favorite moment is having a chance to play sports with the guys. We have some athletes for sure!
Friends, I ask for your continued prayers for all our seminarians. We never have to doubt whether the Holy Spirit is working in our lives, but something pretty incredible is happening in our diocese. Last year I accepted seven seminarians. This year I have accepted another group of seven. Yes, some guys do leave seminary formation, but, year after year, we have more and more young men considering the priesthood. This speaks highly of our diocese. Our pastors, our parishes, the good people of God, and our young people, seem to be more and more open to God’s will for them in their lives. God is calling and people are responding!
As I continue to work in the Office of Priestly Vocations, I ask for your continued prayers and support for seminarians. Believe me, your prayers are felt and make a difference. Remember, just last week Jesus encouraged us by promising that God cares about our lives, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” Let us continue to respond to Jesus’ request:
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” – Matthew 9:36-38