ASIA/PHILIPPINES - “Popular Mission”: Action week aims to promote priestly and religious vocations

Wednesday, 21 February 2024 vocations   priests   orders   mission

Cebu (Agenzia Fides) - The vocation crisis has also become an acute problem for the Asian churches, where so many young people have recently chosen priestly and religious life. In the Philippines, church communities are tackling the problem with determination and creativity. The Archdiocese of Cebu has launched public initiatives at the Freedom Park-Carbon Market as part of the Vocation Month. During a week of meetings and shared reflections, members of various men's and women's orders organized open meetings, especially for young people, where they presented their vocational journey, with the conviction that, in the face of the vocational crisis, "we cannot achieve our goal in isolation, we can only do so together as a Church with the support of the people of God," said Redemptorist priest Ferderiz Cantiller, president of the Directors of Vocations in the Philippines (DVP) Cebu City chapter, to Ucanews Agency.
However, the initiatives were not characterized by the aim of using propaganda strategies to “recruit” new vocations in a short space of time. Rather, the emphasis is on the urgency of prayer to invoke the gift of new vocations. During the week of action, priests created spaces in the public market where they administered the sacrament of confession and read the Word of God to passers-by, street vendors and homeless people. The days became a real popular mission in the midst of the busy streets, a mission that was also spontaneously expressed in works of charity such as offering food to the hungry and medical care to people suffering from various illnesses, blessing everyone who asked, as well as listening and comforting everyone who had problems and expectations that they wanted to confide in. In addition to the Archdiocese of Cebu, Caritas of Cebu and the Redemptorists, among others, ordained lay women from the Teresian Institutions, the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres and the Congregation of Mercy also participated in the vocation week.
The Redemptorist Missionaries of Cebu Province have, over time, always given the utmost importance to vocational pastoral care.
Annual meetings are held at the Most Holy Redeemer Provincial Center in Cebu City under the leadership of the Provincial Vocations Team. These meetings discuss ideas, methods and possibilities for accompanying and supporting new vocations to the priesthood and religious life. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 21/2/2024)