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O Holy Family of Nazareth, community of love of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, model and ideal of every Christian family, to you we entrust our families.
Open the heart of every family to the faith, to welcoming the word of God, to Christian witness, so that it become a source of new and holy vocations.
Touch the hearts of parents, so that with prompt charity, wise care, and loving devotion they be for their sons and daughters sure guides towards spiritual and eternal values.
Stir up in the hearts of young people a right conscience and a free will, so that growing in "wisdom, age and grace", they might welcome generously the gift of a divine vocation.
Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that all of us, contemplating and imitating the assiduous prayer, generous obedience, dignified poverty and virginal purity lived out in your midst, might set about fulfilling the will of God and accompanying with far-sighted sensitivity those among us who are called to follow more closely the Lord Jesus, who "has given himself for us" (cf. Gal 2:20).
This section will highlight the perspectives of parents whose sons or daughters have become priests or consecrated. Whether we are young or old we are always children of our parents. Although we do not always want to listen to them, what they say is important to us. The following reflections of parents will help you see their perspective on their children’s discernment. Pay attention particularly to how the parents’ lives were affected by their children’s decision.
"Getting to know more Priests and seminarians has given us a beautiful, real-life picture of the wonderful human beings that are our present and future Priests"
Reaction of St. John Vianney’s parents when he told them he wanted to be a priest
St. John Vianney was the fourth of eight brothers. Like many other saints, St. John came from very Christian parents. His father owned a farm and his mother was a native of the village of Ecully, located close to the city of Lyons. Since childhood his parents would take him to the farm where he learned to be a shepherd. In these long hours of work, he received the conviction to be a Priest. He said to himself: “If I’m a Priest I can win many souls for God.” He shared this thought with his mother, who offered her support, but his father gave him great struggles. Two years passed before his father accepted his son’s inspiration to be a Priest.
Larry and Sharon Lonergan are the parents of Kevin Lonergan, who is a seminarian at St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia
How did your son’s decision to enter the seminary affect your own Catholic faith?
Our Catholic faith has been made more prayerful and enriched by Kevin’s decision to enter the seminary. We have also come to realize the humanness behind the vestments and the collar of a Priest.
We have become more active in our parish liturgies and other activities. The power of prayers and the answers to them are more focused on our son and the other men who are discerning God’s call to His Priesthood. We hope that when parishioners see us, they pray for our son and for an increase of others to follow on his path to Holy Orders. Our diocese has seen restructuring because of a lack of Priests to serve so many Catholics. We need many more men to sacrifice their lives to keep Christ’s life meaningful to the faithful.
Getting to know more Priests and seminarians has given us a beautiful, real-life picture of the wonderful human beings that are our present and future Priests. We feel that if we support our clergy and Kevin’s peers and mentors, then, one day, other parents will show the same charity to our son as he represents the Son of God here on earth.
Compliments of the Diocese of Allentown
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