Show them the way – Mentoring the Next Generation of Priests

Father Bobby Krueger, pastor at St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn, Ill., visits with young people Jan. 3 during a conference sponsored by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic

As our Church prepares for the 55th Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations on Good Shepherd Sunday, April 22, 2018, here is an article on mentoring seminarians, prepared by Fr. Richard Doerr, which was recently published in Our Sunday Visitor

In his opening statement, Fr. Doerr stresses the urgency for fellow priests to undertake the role of “mentor” to young aspirants:

“Some priests remind me of parents who have jettisoned kids into adulthood and really don’t want to be bothered by the needs of any aspirants to our priestly life.  Yet, this is about the future of our beloved Church.  This article then isn’t just about the perspective candidates and seminarians exclusively; rather it is about the ordained men who they long to emulate as well.  How do we reach these young people, support them and, with God’s guiding help, form them into worthy priests to whom we can pass the baton?”

Following that opening, Fr. Doerr offers suggestions and advice on mentoring, including this quote from Pope Francis: “Formation [of future priests] is a work of art, not a police action. We must form their hearts.  Otherwise, we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goosebumps.”

To review Fr. Doerr’s complete article on mentoring, please click here.

Click here to review another Fr. Doerr reflection: “Creating a Vocation-Friendly Parish – published in The Priest Magazine