Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 21, 1999
Collins to seek taste of vocations
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Archbishop Thomas Collins has long had religious vocations on his mind.
He's been the rector of a seminary. And while bishop of St. Paul, he set the goal of ordaining 50 new priests for the diocese of about 50,000 Catholics.
The Edmonton Archdiocese has 300,000 Catholics, so . . .
Even before taking over as archbishop, Collins was reflecting on how to promote vocations in his new diocese.
It's not as if he has a cola preference. But Pepsi has been on his mind a lot. He isn't thinking about the drink.
Rather, it's his formula for promoting vocations which he shared at his first Archdiocesan Pastoral Council meeting in April.
P - Prayer.
"I think there's an abundance of vocations. I think there's a number of calls for this, we just have to pick up the phone and answer the calls."
Collins hammered the need for prayer for these vocations to come forth.
E - Encouragement.
"Encourage the call. I know a young man who wants to be a priest, but when he told his father about it, his father said 'No.' We need to encourage the call to people who heard the calling."
P - Provide.
Collins said often potential candidates turn from their calling because they lack information and resources.
"We have to address and provide opportunity for people - there needs to be greater communication. When someone comes to us with questions we need to provide the responses and give them a direction."
S - Support.
Collins said such support should not only be confined to the inner circles, but to every member of the Church.
"We go through a lot of struggles. Priests and sisters are not perfect, we have our flaws. We're always up there in front of everyone, we're made very public. And the more public a person is the more our flaws are manifested.
"We need to support one another, despite these flaws."
I - Invite.
As a student in Grade 11, a priest approached Collins and said "Tom, you should consider the priesthood."
"Jesus didn't sit in Capernaum waiting for someone to come up to him, he knew who he wanted and he asked.
"We have to invite these vocations."