By Christina Hermoso
A Catholic Church leader has urged the faithful “to pray for more vocations to the priesthood” following years of declining numbers of priestly ordinations.
In a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News post, Rev. Fr. Roy Vasquez, rector of the Seminario de San Jose in the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa in Palawan said, new priests are needed to replace a number of retiring members of the clergy.
“There is a need to increase vocations to the priesthood to replace the number of retiring priests.We really lack priests in terms of numbers. We need more workers in the vineyards,” Vasquez said.
“Many priests are already in their senior years and the local church needs potential replacement from young people,” he added as he noted that the next ordination of a new priest in their vicariate will not be any time soon. “Maybe in the next three or even more years,” Vasquez said.
The Vicariate of Puerto Princesa and Taytay has around 37 diocesan priests and about 22 religious priests, who are serving in 29 parishes.
In his pastoral visits to parishes, Bishop Socrates Mesiona has been appealing to the faithful “to pray for more vocations to the priesthood. Maybe we are not praying enough for the Lord to send us more workers, so we pray every day for more vocations,” Mesiona said.
The Seminario de San Jose is the only seminary in Palawan that caters to students from the Vicariate of Puerto Princesa and Taytay.