Monday, April 28, 2008

"Tsunami" of vocational interest following papal visit

New York Daily News reports that Pope Benedict's U.S. visit has resulted in "a tsunami of New York seminary applications:

A clergy-starved Archdiocese of New York was facing a crisis - until Pope Benedict arrived.

For the first time in 108 years, St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers was preparing for a year with no new students.

But, after the Holy Father's whirlwind city tour, dozens have heard the call.

"It's been like a tsunami, a good tsunami of interest," said the archdiocese's vocations director, the Rev. Luke Sweeney.

"I've been meeting people all week and have a lot of e-mails I haven't had the chance yet to respond to. It has been incredible."

For a city whose ratio of priests-to-congregation members is among the worst in the country, Benedict's presence and inspiration has been a blessing to Reverend Sweeney:
"We were hoping the Pope would convince many who were considering the priesthood to make the next step. It looks like he did."

In only three days since the Pope left New York after a visit that included speaking to 25,000 young people on the seminary's grounds, dozens of prospective priests have contacted Sweeney.

"One said he came, saw the crowd, heard what the Pope said and then called us," said Sweeney. "He said his questions and concerns were answered when he heard him speak."


"Fishers of Men" USCCB vocations video produced by Grassroots Films - Part I embedded | "Fishers of Men - Part II