Vocations Hinge on Healthy Families, Says a Psychologist and Formator

"Either We All Grow Together or Nobody Grows," He Insists

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ROME, JAN. 9, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Pastoral efforts to foster vocations should begin with families, says a leading Italian expert in the formation of candidates for the priesthood and consecrated life.



Father Amedeo Cencini, religious of the Sons of Charity and a psychologist and formator of religious, expressed this conviction when he addressed a congress last week, organized by the National Center of Vocations of the Italian bishops' conference.

In his address, quoted in the Web page of Vidimus Dominum, Father Cencini said that the Church's objective today is to promote "all vocations," not just those to the consecrated life, "since in the Church of the Lord either we all grow together or nobody grows."

"If we want vocations," the priest said, "we have to cultivate families, to form those who are betrothed and who then become parents to give this sense to human life, to transmit this vocational logic of life to their children, to be those who are the first to give example in this sense, of generosity, selflessness, opening to others and to the needy in particular, in fostering a sense of responsibility and solidarity, of sobriety and simplicity of life, of courage in facing difficulties, and of sacrifice."

"It is even one of today's new vocations, to be fathers and mothers who are open to life, to the gift of life, of bridegrooms and brides who in their love bear witness and celebrate the beauty of human love blessed by God," the priest emphasized.

"Only in this way of understanding a vocation and of interpreting vocational inspiration will a long-term authentic vocational culture be created as fertile ground for the birth of priestly vocations," Father Cencini concluded.