Written by Sherry
Thursday, 14 June 2007 05:55
Zenit has a nice interview with Jean-Luc Moens, who has been recently named to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the Vatican dicastery that oversees the Church's charitable activities.
Moens has served as president of FIDESCO, a nongovernmental organization that helps in development projects, since 1997. FIDESCO is a NGO founded by the Emmanuel Community in 1981, currently operating in France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, the United States, Australia, Rwanda, and Congo.
Since it was created, FIDESCO has sent more than 1,000 young people to more than 40 countries. At present, we have 120 volunteers on location and about 60 who are preparing to leave in September.
The more I hear of the Emmanuel community, the more impressed I am. I would certainly agree with Moen's comment:
Indeed, I have been impressed to discover that the new movements and communities that grant the laity an important role are also those where many vocations to the priesthood arise.
We must always bear in mind that all priests have started out as laymen!
We have certainly observed in our work that a Catholic culture of discernment where it is normal for all adults to ask "where is God calling me" is a culture that produces priestly and religious vocations as well as lay vocations of remarkable creativity.
There is so much more to facilitating the discerment of vocations than the traditional four "states of life": priesthood, religious, married, single.
As I wrote in Making Disciples, Equipping Apostles,"aren’t we’re in the middle of a vocation crisis? Indeed we are, but I would like to suggest that our crisis is that many are being called but only a few are discerning.
The Holy Spirit is planting charisms and vocations of amazing diversity in the hearts of all his people. Like the graces of the sacrament, they are real but they are not magic. Just as the gifts of children are in-born and yet must be fostered deliberately and with great energy by parents if their children are to reach their full potential, so vocations must be fostered by the Church.
In this area, we are not asking for too much, we are settling for too little. God is not asking us to call forth the vocations of a few people, he is asking us to call forth the vocations of millions. Our problem is not that there is a shortage of vocations but that we do not have the support systems and leadership in place to foster the vast majority of the vocations that God has given us."
Formation is not just something we give to a few who are already clear about God’s call. Formation awakens Christians to and clarifies God’s call; formation empowers men and women to hear and respond to the call that is already present. As Pope John Paul II has written: “The fundamental objective of the formation of the lay faithful is an ever-clearer discovery of one’s vocation and the ever-greater willingness to live it so as to fulfill one’s mission.”, 58.