Holy Thursday is a traditional memorial of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. As we enter Holy Week, it is of great benefit to keep the seminarians of our Diocese in your prayers. There has been a significant decrease in the number of seminarians over the past 4 years. As of this writing, there are only 5 seminarians in training for the Diocese of Gaylord. This does not even come close to the number of priests who need to be replaced due to age and/or infirmity over the next few years.
An argument could be made that the number of priests necessary to minister to active Catholics in the Diocese is not that great, as we are seeing a vast decline in the number of Catholics in the Diocese. This hemorrhage of Church attendance can be traced to a number of possible factors: a general decline in cultural morality and adherence to natural law, an absence of teaching from Church leaders, lack of inspiration and abject disgust with the negative leadership of bishops, and a vast array of corrupt and morally bankrupt clergy, among others. The result is mass confusion of the faithful, especially those whose faith has already been tested by the rot of mainstream society, leading to a disintegration of the faith that an individual would otherwise have. Nonetheless, priests are needed to re-evangelize our communities and the world. Without priests and parishes, a truly Catholic renewal and great awakening cannot happen.
It is said that to become a priest, a man needs to be crazy or Catholic. When the Church seems to be imploding from forces not only outside of, but more significantly within the Church, Divine Providence has in times past raised up men of courage and faith to fight the satanic desire to destroy the Church. May we have a holy group of Catholic men in our midst to fight the good fight. Holy Week is the ideal time to reflect and pray for vocations to the priesthood.
May you have a blessed and happy Easter.