A Parish Priest for St Augustine Parish of the Mzuzu Diocesehas expressed deep concern over the decline in the number of youths going for priesthood, saying the situation has a bearing in the future of the Catholic Church in Malawi.
In his Sunday’s church service homily, Reverend Father Yohane Nyirenda, took advantage of the day’s Liturgy of the Word to express his worry over the matter.
He quoted the Bible Text from 1 Kings 19 – 21, about Elisha who, upon being called by God to be Elijah’s successor, did not look back, but left everything behind and became Elijah’s attendant.
On the contrary, according to Rev. Father Nyirenda, despite minor seminaries in the country crammed with boys who show interest in going into priesthood, a majority of them change their minds upon completing their studies at the minor seminaries.
“The time they are starting school [in minor seminaries] they really vow that they have chosen the path to priesthood.
“But upon finishing form four and are about to proceed to major seminaries for a nine-yearformation program to the priesthood, they start making excuses. You will hear them saying that their parents will not be happy seeing them going for priesthood,” he said.
The Parish Priest, therefore, asked parents to take a leading role in guiding their children to the vocation life of their choice, rather than dictating on them to ‘not to go’ for priesthood.
He said the current trend is painting a frightful picture to the Church’s future in the country as there will not be enough priests to serve the increasing number of Catholic Faithfuls and those needing their services.
Father Nyirenda added that praying, alone, will not be able to provide a tangible solution to the problem which he said is slowly eating up the church. He therefore advised the Catholics to do something about as a family.
“[For] some of us the age is catching up, and consider the number of priests we are losing in just a year due to death, yet most parishes in the country are going five years without ordaining any priest.
“Parents should give their children a chance to make a vocation life of their choice, not necessarily by forcing them to go for priesthood orsisterhood, but ask them if they are willing because this will help them to be good decision makers,” he appealed.
Source: Malawi News Agency