Be Not Afraid

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A Message from Father Peter Crowe

On October 22, 1978, Pope Saint John Paul II spoke these words to the crowd gathered at Saint Peter’s Square: “Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Be not afraid. Christ knows ‘what is in man.’ He alone knows it. So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.”

These strong words still ring true today! Our Lord alone has the words of eternal life. Saint John Vianney said that the priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus, and that “the priest will not understand the greatness of his office until he is in Heaven. If he understood it on earth, he would die, not of fear, but of love. The other benefits of God would be of no avail to us without the priest.”

In this National Vocations Awareness week, please pray for our priests. Please pray for our seminarians, and if you are a single man, consider the possibility of the priesthood. The world is hungering for God, and in order to receive the Eucharist, to have our sins forgiven, and to be strengthened with the other Sacraments, we need the priest. Seminary is a place where men go to listen more deeply to God’s call, to receive the support and friendship they need to freely say “yes, God is calling me to be a priest,” or “no, God is calling me elsewhere.” All men are called to be fathers, but the question is—what kind of fatherhood—to be a father with a wife and children, or to be a celibate father bringing eternal life to souls that will last forever?

A regular prayer life and the support of the Church is necessary to help you make a proper discernment. Do not be afraid. If you have even the slightest thought, consider the priesthood. As Vocation Director, I am here to help you. Contact me and be sure to check out our vocations website. I am here to help you. We are all praying for you. 

Father Peter Crowe is the Pastor of Saint Andrew Parish in Johnstown and Diocesan Director of Vocations. You can reach him at vocations@dioceseaj.org or (814) 317-2681.