When God gives children a vocation,
He gives another vocation to the parents.
The children’s vocation is
to give themselves to God
while the vocations of the parents
is to give God what they love
most in the world.
Families – Grow vocations.
The first vocational inspiration for most young people is offered by the caring, sharing, sacrificing, loving, praying and witnessing life of their parents. It is the parents who teach the first prayers to their child such as the sign of the cross, the Our Father and the Hail Mary.
That is why, in the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore, the parents of the young man who is about to be ordained to the priesthood escort him on either side as he processes through the church. On reaching the altar and before beginning the Mass, the parents make the sign of the cross on the forehead and chest of their son and kiss him. They then entrust their son to the Bishop who will henceforth become a father to their son.
This signing of the cross by his parents is a powerful symbol of their being the first teachers of their son’s prayer life. It was in their family, the domestic seminary that his vocation was born.
Christian families have an important and invaluable mission and a responsibility for vocations, especially through the parish, to help those called to the priesthood to respond in a generous and conscious way. Ask St Joachim and St Anne to obtain for you the grace and the courage to offer your child to the Lord to serve as His priest. (See story about Eliza Vaughan)
Who can compare their joy with the father of one priest who said that the happiest experience of his life was when he served his son’s first Holy Mass. He added;“At Holy Communion time I thought; my God, I gave you my son and now my son is to give to me Your son”. "God has blessed your marriage and has given you children…. If the Divine Master comes and asks for 'His part'—one of your children, whom He has called to be a priest, a religious or a nun—what will you do? What will become of the holy inspirations that have spoken to their hearts, and His voice whispering to them: 'Do you love Me? Will you follow Me?'
"In God’s name I beg you not to stifle in their souls their openness to the Divine Call. How deep will your Christian spirit really be if you back away from the honor of cooperating and helping in the work of spreading the Faith and the Catholic Church not merely with material help but also with the very precious gift of your children that God is asking of you?"
Vocations Guide to Priesthood