Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 15, 1999
Vocation director optimistic
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Father Sylvain Casavant has high hopes for the priesthood.
"I believe that there will be more priests in the future because God said he'll be with us always," says Casavant, director of vocations for the Edmonton Archdiocese for the past three years. "God will never abandon his Church."
But that doesn't mean Casavant sits idle waiting for vocations to come. He searches for them, and usually finds them, in places "where young people are on fire for Christ," such as Our Lady of Victory Camp and Youth 2000.
In November he held a reflection day for 11 "contacts" he got through those two places.
"My hope is that we can get people interested in the priesthood to the point of inquiring," he told the WCR. "Many people think about the priesthood but the danger is that they will (keep thinking)."
Currently, seven men are studying for the priesthood for the Edmonton Archdiocese. That's more than when Casavant went through the seminary but not enough to meet the need.
"I don't believe God has stopped calling guys to celibate life," he said. "I think people are afraid of commitment. One of the main problems is lack of faith; it has nothing to do with female clergy or married clergy."
Many young people are afraid the priesthood is not going to be enjoyable, that they are not going to be fulfilled. But as Casavant puts it, "You are never going to be more fulfilled than in Christ."
What is needed is more priests speaking about the priesthood, even doing homilies on vocations, he said. "We need to be able to go out to the people more than we already do."
Casavant, who is also pastor of Sylvan Lake and Rimbey, is hoping to talk to some parishes and see if they would consider doing Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to pray for vocations.
"I have a tendency to believe that if we have faith in Christ and Mary, there will always be a bright side."
Casavant also would like to set a web site to promote vocations. "You'd be surprised at how many young people look at the website."