Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I write these brief thoughts from the Archdiocese of Denver’s annual priestly Convocation. It seems fitting that this time of communion and growth among all priests of the archdiocese comes on the week leading up to Good Shepherd Sunday, and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It’s very important that we take the time to pray for vocations, because this is an exciting time for the Church and for our parish. Next weekend, Archbishop Aquila will meet with young men
from our parish interested in learning more about the priesthood!
The Lord is calling us to a profound spiritual renewal that will make of us and many others true and authentic missionary disciples of Christ. But that can't be done without our priests, deacons and religious. We need shepherds, according to Christ's heart. That requires our life witness of self-surrender to Christ's love. He tells us in today’s Gospel, “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep” (Jn 10:14-17).
Parents and grandparents have a great role in raising vocations. Please, invite youth to not be afraid to listen and follow God's call to be fishers of men, whatever that means for them. In my experience, it was my grandma who encouraged me not to be afraid of the priesthood to which God was calling me. I'm grateful now for having listened and for saying yes to the mission God has given me. A priest has a great impact in the lives of so many people: through preaching, teaching, healing, listening, counseling, giving Christ to others.
We have been working since more than a year ago on being intentional about raising vocations at Queen of Peace. We began by having a Discipleship of Vocations weekend, in which we asked all of you to give us names of young people in our parish whom you think may have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. From there, we began our Called by Name program, hosting events and meetings to help the high schoolers nominated to discern whether the Lord is calling them to these vocations. Fifteen young men meet with me every month to pray and discuss the reality of the vocation to the priesthood. Next weekend, we are hosting a St. Andrew Dinner with Archbishop Aquila. These dinners are an opportunity for the high schoolers to talk about the priesthood with the archbishop and myself in an informal atmosphere. They will hear our vocation stories and ask questions they may have. If you know of a young man in high school who you think should be invited to this or one of our regular monthly meetings to discern a vocation to the
priesthood, please call our office or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I invite everyone to pray for the young people in our parish, so that they may listen to God’s call, whatever that may be. One of the many reasons for our new parish center is them. We want our young people to have a good, safe, appealing place where they belong, where they can feel a part of the Church, where they can begin an intimate relationship with the Lord, and learn to listen to His voice. We have had several vocations born at Queen of Peace in years past. In fact, we have invited priests and religious sisters who were once parishioners of Queen of Peace to join us for our 50th anniversary kickoff celebration with Bishop Jorge Rodriguez on June 2. We will
have a bilingual Mass at 5pm, followed by a reception in the Great Room. I hope you will join us too.
Father Felix P. Medina-Algaba