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Germany: Fr. Mass (German Church), “we have no power over vocations, we can only pray to God”

There were only 58 ordinations to the priesthood in Germany in 2015. A figure that shows the depth of the vocation crisis, with insufficient priests to replace those who have died or retired, which raises questions about what the German approach should be to solve this problem. In an extensive interview with the portal of the Catholic Church in Germany, Fr. Michael Mass, director of the Vocation Centre of the German Church based in Freiburg, explained that “first of all, the problem should be addressed in the same way as we address all emergency situations in the Church: whether it is about war, persecution or personal suffering: we need to pray. We necessarily have to pray to have vocations to the priesthood as well as other vocations”. Fr. Mass recalled that in the United States of America there is a movement called “Adoration for Vocations” which is the right way to go to address this concern: “The dioceses in which this movement is spreading have not only seen a rise in the number of vocations but also a stronger life of faith”, the priest said, adding that “it is difficult to promote becoming a priest, because this comes from the good God. We just have to follow Him when He calls us, and what we can do is to show what the priestly ministry is all about”. Notwithstanding the difficulties and poverty that are often experienced by priests today, “priestly life can be extremely rewarding”.

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