Fr. Severo C. Caermare
Rector Saint Mary’s Theologate Seminary
Gango, Ozamiz City
Vocation @ Digital Age
“Can any thing good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46) This is the cynical question of Nathaniel, when told by Philip, that he had met the one whom Moses wrote about and the prophets proclaimed. With a similar tone and sense of negativism, we ask: Will there be vocations in the Digital Age?
Pope Benedict XVI in his message for the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations recognizes the difficulty and challenge in finding vocations for “the voice of the Lord seems to be drowned out by other voices.” These are voices that are loud to hear and so strong that they cannot be ignored: internet, cellphones, iphones…etc. These instruments have helped us shape our means of communication. But they also define our ways of establishing relationships and building fellowship. While, these technologies have made us closer to those who are far from us, yet we can’t deny they make us farther those who are close to us by enclosing ourselves in a virtual world. They have grabbed our time and stolen our moments for God and for one another. “Don’t let Wifi make your prayer dry”, a call made by the Pope himself.
Remaining hopeful the Pontiff said that “the Lord does not fail to call people at every stage of life to share in his mission and to serve the Church in the ordained ministry and in the consecrated life.” It is in these circumstances that he reminded everyone that every Christian community, every member of the Church has the responsibility for promoting vocations, thus the theme of the upcoming celebration on May 15, 2011, is “Proposing Vocations in the Local Church.”
It is essential that every local Church become more sensitive and attentive to the pastoral care of vocations, helping children and young people in particular at every level of family, parish and associations –as Jesus did with his disciples –to grow into a genuine and affectionate friendship with the Lord, cultivated through personal and liturgical prayer.”
In this same message (February 10, 2011) then the Pontiff added a strongly worded call to priests “to testify to their fellow priests”, in order to provide a rich soil for the seeds of a priestly vocation.
Holding on to the hope that God will never leave his people without a shepherd, with faith-filled awareness of every Christian role in nourishing priestly vocations, we echo the Apostle Philip’s response: COME AND SEE! With joined hands and concerted efforts, it is our prayer that God may give us, formators and all agents of formation “the ability to foster vocations, a hallmark of the vitality of a local church” in this digital era.