08/06/2012 08:56

The vocation challenge in PNG - Interview with Bro. Jim Mungovan OFM Cap

By Fr Giorgio Licini PIME/CBC Communications.  Bro. Jim, you are the rector of St. Fidelis Seminary in Madang. What challenges are you coming across with your staff in trying to assist in the formation of young men who are interested in serving God and His people as ordained Catholic priests?

The young men who come to St. Fidelis are in their initial phases of discerning God’s call for them in their lives. They have put aside the thought of single life and married life for the time being and are now prayerfully thinking about dedicating their lives to God in service of the Church as a Catholic priest. Hopefully they come to the seminary with the full support of their family and friends, but sometimes that is not the case. 

What do you stress as different than usual in the life of a Catholic priest?

The candidates to the priesthood must come to know that if they feel that God is truly calling them to the life of a Catholic priest they will no longer have the option to have a girlfriend, a wife or kids since the life of a Catholic priest is one lived in chaste celibacy.  They also must accept the fact that being a servant of God means just that: to serve and not be served.

You mean that poverty and simplicity is a value they need to embrace?

All too often young men think of becoming Catholic priests because they either see or hear that priests get a car, a house, spending money, nice clothes, or the possibility to travel to other countries for higher education. Of course, these are all the wrong reasons for wanting to become a priest. The young men must also understand that choosing to answer God’s call as an ordained priest means to embrace a life of simplicity and perhaps suffering in imitation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave up His life for us.  Our challenge for today’s vocations is to make them understand and accept all these things, and more, prior to their ordination.  (CBC Communications 080612 – giorgiolicini@yahoo.com)