parish vocation promoters
From Bishop Paul S. Loverde's homily for the Mass of Commissioning for Parish Vocation Promoters, Sept. 17, 2001
"In the gospel, we hear Jesus, urging us to ask the Harvest Master to send laborers into the harvest. As He traveled from city to city, bringing the good news, His heart was moved with pity at the sight of the crowds. As the gospel tells us, Jesus saw the people as "sheep without a shepherd." They were exhausted, confused and searching for someone to lead them. In response to this scene, Jesus instructs his disciples, saying: 'The harvest is good but the laborers are scarce. Beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather his harvest.'
The scene in our gospel is repeated in each generation. Today is no different. There are those who have not yet come to know Christ to whom missionaries must be sent to proclaim the Gospel and to invite them to become members of the Church. There are those Christians who have lost their way and need a shepherd, who leaves the ninety-nine to come and find them and bring them back home. There are those who are faithfully serving God, and need a shepherd to help them to grow in holiness. Of course, the true Shepherd is Christ, and it is He-with the Father and the Holy Spirit-who chooses, calls and sends certain members of the Church to shepherd His flock. Yet, these chosen need to know they are being called in order to be sent. To help these chosen discern their call is the baptismal responsibility of all in the Church."
"I thank you for your willingness to be involved as Vocation Promoters in your parish. I also thank your pastors who will be assisted by your efforts for their time and energy in finding willing and capable men and women to take on this responsibility. I pledge to you my prayers and my support and those of the Office of Vocations. Through you, the Lord is working to invite people to respond, to help parents to encourage and support their children in this decision, and to enable parish families to become partners in the pastoral work of vocations.
You are preparing for the Gospel to be preached, for the sacraments to be celebrated, and for leadership to be given well into this new century. May God who has begun this good work in you bring it to completion in the day of Christ Jesus. Amen"