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Aug 10, 2007

Catholic Bishop calls on youth to take up vocation

Story PictureThroughout the world religious leaders of all denominations have noted the significant decline in the number of people being called to serve the church. The situation is no different in Belize and tonight the Catholic diocese is appealing to young men and women to take up the vocation. But in the meantime, Bishop Dorrick Wright says the challenge is to use limited resources to meet the needs of the congregation.

Bishop Dorrick Wright, Catholic Diocese
“We have tried to prepare lay people. If you notice, lay people play a greater role in the church; you have some distributing communion at mass, some taking communion to people in their homes and so we have tried to get lay people more involved in the church. But our church is a church of sacraments and unless we have ordained ministers, we can’t have sacraments and so we cannot just be satisfied with lay ministry or with the involvement of lay people. We cannot be satisfied, because if we have only lay people, who will celebrate mass? Who will give absolution, the sacrament of reconciliation? Who will anoint the sick? So we just can’t emphasise lay ministry and forget religious life or the life of a priest. We have been asking lay people to do more and more, but they can do just so much more.”

Janelle Chanona
“Do you feel this situation would open the door for women to be ordained as priests in the Catholic Church?”

Bishop Dorrick Wright
“I’m not going to jump on that and say yes, because I’ve seen the trouble it has caused in other churches, ordaining women and so. I don’t know if that’s the solution nor do I see optional celibacy as a solution because the other churches that have married clergy and I don’t see a whole lot of young men running there to become ministers either. So I don’t think optional celibacy is the answer either. Not certain what it is except to get people to change their think and see that this is a life worth living.”

Janelle Chanona
“Anything else you would like to highlight about all of this Bishop?”

Bishop Dorrick Wright
“It’s just that I would like to encourage our young people to think about religious life, because they are really needed in the church and our parents and grandparents who were taught by sisters and priests will tell you that it’s a lot different than it is today.”

“What we have been doing every year during the summer, we run what we call a vocation week out at Santa Familia monastery. This year we had about ten boys and about thirty girls, people who might be interested in religious life. And we push this every year and we try to encourage young people, but I’m afraid that the lifestyle that they experience after they leave Santa Familia is completely different. I think that what they see outside might be more attractive, for one thing the music, their TV programmes et cetera, all that might seem a lot more attractive than religious life.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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