As we approach Father’s Day this Sunday, we take time to appreciate our own fathers, grandfathers, and godfathers – but also our priests and their vocations of spiritual fatherhood.
Bishop James Wall, of the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, stopped by Morning Air® to discuss the vocation of the priesthood, and how parents of sons can help foster priestly vocations in their own families.
“Everybody has a vocation,” Bishop Wall said. “And whatever that vocation is, it’s about coming to know and understand it, and to trust that in following our vocation, this is where our greatest sense of happiness will be found. Because God is the one who plants that seed, that vocation, in our heart. And if we allow it to come to fruition and we have a courageous heart to follow it, then that’s where we’ll have our greatest sense of true happiness, because we will know that we are doing the will of God and we are also serving our loving God and serving our brothers and sisters.”
Speaking of his own experience, Bishop Wall expressed his appreciation for the example that his parents set in encouraging a priestly vocation – without forcing the issue.
“Both of my parents were very faithful, and they passed along the faith to all six children,” he said. “They gave me an excellent example, and when I brought this up to the two of them, thinking that I was being called to be a priest, my parents were both cautiously optimistic. They didn’t want to force it on me too hard, in case this wasn’t my vocation, that I wouldn’t be disappointing them.”
So how can families raise their children to hear God’s call and answer it? Bishop Wall explained that in his family, it was two very simple, but essential, things.
“First, they set a great example living out their own faith. And two is I know that they were praying for me to know my vocation and have the ability to follow it. And we hear that consistently, over and over, with our young men who are going into the seminary. They come from good, happy, healthy families, where the faith is practiced and it’s really fostered.”
“Now, that doesn’t limit it to them, because we do have young men coming to us from broken families,” he continued. “So the faith might be passed on by a father, a mother, or grandparents.”
As we take time to appreciate our priests this Father’s Day, remember the importance of family in forming these men to serve Christ and the Church in such a beautiful way. And if you’re not praying for the vocations of your children, there is no better time to start than today!
As Bishop Wall told us, “The family is very, very important in terms of fostering the vocation at a young age, and giving the young man the necessary tools to know and love God, and to trust Him when the Lord places the vocation in ones heart that this is where they are called.”
Listen to the full conversation with Bishop Wall below: