Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shortage of priests as youths shy away from vocation

From the Star.
Shortage of priests as youths shy away from vocation
By DERRICK VINESH

PARENTS should educate their sons on the benefits of becoming a priest, said Church of St Anthony Nibong Tebal priest Reverend Father Francis Xavier Selvarajoo.

He said the number of youths entering priesthood in the country was declining as many Christian pa-rents felt it was not a lucrative job.

“These days, parents want their children to secure high-paying jobs.

Silver jubilee mass: Rev Francis Xavier kneeling in thanksgiving at his church.

They expect others to become priests and insist that churches have dedicated priests to fulfil their spiritual needs,” he said as he celebrated his 25 years as a priest recently at a sacerdotal silver jubilee mass at his church.

Rev Francis Xavier said families should look beyond materialism and the pleasures of life to boldly commit their future in God’s hands.

He noted that the heavy workload shared among the small pool of priests in every denomination had also caused youths to shy away from the vocation.

Speaking about his admission to the St Francis Xavier Minor Seminary in Singapore in 1975, Rev Francis Xavier said he was actually “tricked” into entering priesthood.

“I had just obtained my SPM results when I met the late Bishop Gregory Yong at Church of Christ The King, Sungai Petani.

“He congratulated me on my results and sent me on a fully-paid one-way trip to the seminary in Singapore as a reward.

“I was allowed to return to Penang only after seven months. But soon I felt something missing in my life and decided to go back to the seminary.

“It was then I realised that it was my calling from God,” he said.

Rev Francis Xavier said that other than taking part in youth activities at the church, priests should sit down and have coffee with the youths and give them leadership tasks to perform.

In this way, he said, the youths would not only feel a sense of importance but would be able to understand the functions of a priest better.

“However, the most effective way will be to sow the seeds from the beginning, by encouraging them to volunteer as servers and choir members at primary school level.

“This is because it would be hard to change their mentality in the teenage years,” he said.

14 comments:

DonAaron said...

How sweet to get the priesthood as a present and after SPM no doubt... Sigh... I wish I was given the same...:-(

But then again, I'll wait for my entry :-)

M@rK said...

if only they gave out the same now, i'm sure they would be quite successful.. instead of asking ppl to get a degree and jobs before joining...

Anonymous said...

i was on of those who were interested in the priesthood...was told to study and come back later ...never got back of course ...

the other things is that the interviewer feel that I am tad too conservative with the liking of latin and all ..so not accepted at the point too...

DonAaron said...

Ay... the Latin... its a good thing that the Tridentine Rites are brought back in. @ least someone cares bout givin the green light to celebrate this mass without takin the trouble asking the bishops in charge of the respective diocese... unfortunately, not all churches in KL have the tridentine altar, so far I only know of St Anthony's in Pudu & Holy Rosary in Brickfields...It's kinda damper... but even the new altars could be modified for the mass ;-)

Andrew said...

The 'Tridentine' or Extraordinary form of the Mass has not been permitted in Malaysia nor has any of our priests celebrated it as far as I know. Only the SSPX, which is not in full communion with the Catholic Church are celebrating it at their Sacred Heart Chapel in Sg. Buloh.

Table altars can be modified for the Tridentime Mass to be celebrated, but in the current climate of the Church, I don't think it's going to happen soon.

Even if it does happen every day, it's not that I will attend every Mass. Especially Low Mass. But I would very much like to have the choice to do so and I believe that others should have the choice as well.

Anonymous said...

that is the problem with the church in Malaysia ...i have requested the bishops many times for a tridentine mass but always no...they say we dun have the numbers ...i then told them about the moto proprio and they just shrugged me off...thats y i rather donate to FSSP/SSPX then our local diocese...

Anonymous said...

ooops I did reply that I have the numbers and he told me off..

Andrew said...

The sad thing is that most people are just not surprised anymore when things like this happen... why don't you try to ask them why they are so hostile to it and what do they think of the Pope's explanation

Anonymous said...

i did ask a priest before ..he told me this is 2007...

i stop contributions to that church...

Collin Michael Nunis said...

I've promised myself that if I'm ordained in the Eastern Rite, I will request for biritual faculties to celebrate the Tridentine and Sarum Rites.

Vernon said...

Being a Priest is potentially the highest-paying job of all - a 'fast track' route to Heaven!

"What shall it profit a man that he gain the whole world but suffer the loss of his eternal soul."

Vernon said...

Andrew said: "The 'Tridentine' or Extraordinary form of the Mass has not been permitted in Malaysia".

For the last year, following the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, no permission is needed, nor should be sought, by any Priest to say the Mass of Ages. The so-called 'stable group' can be as small as two people ["when two or three are gathered together in My name..."] and one of these can be the Priest himself. He can also say the EF Mass entirely on his own initiative without any request from the people.

Andrew said...

Dear Vernon,

The generosity of the Holy Father may not be reciprocated by the local bishops and clergy. That is the reality we live in today, so there's nothing much we can do but pray that the Holy Father appoints shepherds who are as loyal and generous as him for the local Church in Malaysia.

jazz said...

The Roman Catholic Church is extremely rich, while millions of its aderents are frightfully poor this is because the catholic church wants to hold on to power and not let its people see for themselves what is happening or teach them about other religions in the world.