Jesus commissioned His apostles to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Through this commissioning, it is clear that all people throughout the world are called to be disciples of Christ, regardless of upbringing, race, degree of involvement in the Church, or any other matter.
St. John Paul’s II’s letter “Pastores Dabo Vobis” written following the 1990 Synod of Bishops which met to discuss the formation of priests facing the challenges of the modern age. The letter speaks to the necessity of the faithful to encourage priestly vocations: “There is an urgent need, especially nowadays, for a more widespread and deeply felt conviction that all members of the Church, without exception, have the grace and responsibility to look after vocations.” This statement echoes what was stated by the Second Vatican Council: “The duty of fostering vocations falls on the whole Christian community, and they should discharge it principally by living full Christian lives.”
This weekend William (Bill) Papaj will be visiting St. Louis to encourage all of us in our duty to assist with promoting vocations to the priesthood. In the past other seminarians have visited and spoken to us about vocations including Ryan Keating.
Bill is in his third year at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora studying for the Diocese of Buffalo. He is a member of St. Andrew’s Parish in Kenmore. Bill is a graduate of St. Joseph Collegiate High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and also holds a Masters Degree in Finance from Canisius College. He worked ten years in the field of retail management at Hills Department Store and T.J. Maxx. For 15 years he worked at Ingram Micro in Williamsville in the Finance and Sales Departments.
We welcome Bill this weekend to address us on the need to support vocations to the priesthood that will sustain the ministry of the Church in the future.