June Is Month for Vocations
Across the country, June is a month when many seminarians are ordained and begin their vocations as priests. A recent study of the Ordination class of 2000 and an annual statistical report compiled by the Vatican shows an increase in vocation rates and a wide ethnic variety among ordinands. "Since 1978 the world vocation rate has increased." says Rev. Edward J. Burns, Executive Director, Priestly Formation/Vocations, National Conference of Catholic Bishops. "The highest rates of increase by far are in Africa, Asia and South America. During this same time period, North America has experienced a decrease in vocations. However, over the past couple years, we have seen some increase in vocations here in the United States." A report for the bishops Vocations Committee found that although three quarters of the U.S. class of 2000 were born in the United States, others came from countries like Vietnam, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, the Philippines and Korea.
Rev. Edward J. Burns can be reached at 202-541-3033.
Fathers Deserve to Get Back What They Give All Year
"Being a father is a full time job, and the role has tended to take on an expanded importance as focus moves away from the role of provider and out to its connection to marriage and family issues," notes Richard McCord, Ph.D., the U.S. bishops' advisor on marriage and family issues. "Today's fathers often interpret their traditional role of 'provider' in more than an economic sense," says Dr. McCord. "They have discovered how their involvement in parenting enriches both themselves and their children. Fathers strengthen the bonds with their children when they provide physical care and discipline, train them in religious values and practices, and help with school work and other activities." As part of a new movement promoting the spiritual growth of men, Catholic dioceses and groups are offering more and more programs to help men connect with their families and their spirituality.
Rick McCord can be reached at 202-541-3043.
CCHD Helps Appalachian Young People
A community program based in Berea, Kentucky is working to help children envision alternative futures to coal mines, menial labor and welfare. WINGS (Women's Initiative Networking Groups), which is spoonsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), has helped more than 40 small businesses get started. Now it wants students to look at entrepreneurism in a serious light. "Eighth graders meet with local small business owners, followed by a roundtable discussion back at school, alerting the students that it's not too early to think about services or products they could provide in small business settings," says Barbara Stephenson, CCHD Communications Director. "It's another effort by CCHD to help people to help themselves."
Barbara Stephenson can be reached at 202-541-3364.