Monsignor Yennock's Homily November 5, 2017 - Vocation Sunday

Nov 6, 2017

VOCATION SUNDAY 2017

THIRTY FIRST SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

NOVEMBER 5, 2017

 

TODAY IS THE BEGINNING OF VOCATION AWARENESS WEEK. I DON’T HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT THE CHURCH HAS A SERIOUS SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS. EACH ONE OF US HAS TO ADDRESS THAT ISSUE WITH JESUS CHRIST THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST.

 

A FEW YEARS AGO POPE JOHN PAUL II ESTABLISHED A CLOISTERED CONVENT WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE VATICAN. HE CALLED THE CONVENT “MATER ECCLESIAE” OR MOTHER OF THE CHURCH. IT WAS TO BE A HOME FOR CONTEMPLATIVE SISTERS WITH A VERY SPECIAL MISSION. THE WORK OF THE SISTERS WAS TO PRAY FOR THE HOLY FATHER AND FOR ALL PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS.

 

EVERY FIVE YEARS A DIFFERENT COMMUNITY OCCUPIES THAT CONVENT AND CONTINUES THE MISSION OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS. THE HEAD OF THE COMMUNITY OF BENEDICTINE SISTERS WHO WERE AT THAT CONVENT SAID: WE HAVE BEEN CALLED TO BE SPIRITUAL MOTHERS TO THE PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS WHO ARE OUR SPIRITUAL SONS.

 

IF WE GO BACK INTO HISTORY WE FIND THAT POPE JOHN PAUL II WAS ONLY REVIVING A PRACTICE THAT IS VERY ANCIENT IN THE CHURCH. WOMEN BECAME SPIRITUAL MOTHERS OF PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS BY PRAYING FOR VOCATIONS AND PRAYING FOR PRIESTS.

 

THERE ARE MANY RELIGIOUS SISTERS AND LAY WOMEN WHO ARE ALREADY LIVING A HIDDEN VOCATION OF SPRITUAL MOTHERHOOD BY PRAYING FOR SEMINARIANS AND FOR PRIESTS. IN DOING SO THEY ARE IMITATING MARY THE MOTHER OF THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST, JESUS CHRIST.

 

THERE IS A TRUE STORY TOLD BY A BISHOP KETTELER WHO LIVED IN THE 19TH CENTURY. KETTLER BECAME BISHOP OF MAINZ IN GERMANY AND DURING HIS LIFETIME FOUNDED A RELIGIOUS ORDER.

 

AS A YOUNG MAN BISHOP KETTLER STUDIED LAW AND WAS WELL ON HIS WAY TO A CAREER AS A LAWYER. AT THE AGE OF 30 HE HAD A VIVID EXPERIENCE THAT CHANGED HIS LIFE.

 

HE SAID THAT ONE NIGHT HE SAW JESUS VERY CLEARLY STANDING IN FRONT OF HIM. JESUS WAS SHOWING WILHELM KETTLER HIS SACRED HEART. KNEELING NEXT TO JESUS WAS A NUN, A RELIGIOUS SISTER. HE HEARD THE WORDS. SHE IS PRAYING FOR YOU.

 

 

THE FACE OF THE UNKNOWN SISTER MADE AN INDELIBLE IMPRESSION ON HIS MEMORY.

 

THE YOUNG MAN LEFT THE LAW PROFESSION AND BEGAN TO STUDY THEOLOGY AND WAS ORDAINED A PRIEST AND LATER A BISHOP.

 

MANY YEARS LATER BISHOP KETTLER WAS CELEBRATING MASS IN A CONVENT IN GERMANY. AS THE SISTERS STARTED COMING TO RECEIVE COMMUNION HE NOTICED IN THE LAST ROW THE FACE OF THE SISTER HE HAD SEEN IN THE VISION. AFTER MASS HE ASKED TO SEE THE SISTER.

THE SISTER CONFIDED TO BISHOP KETTLER THAT SHE DIDN’T KNOW WHO SHE WAS PRAYING FOR, BUT SHE MADE A EUCHARISTIC HOLY HOUR EVERY NIGHT FOR THE SOUL CHOSEN FOR HER BY THE SACRED HEART.

 

THE BISHOP WAS CERTAIN THAT THIS SISTER WAS CHOSEN TO PRAY FOR HIS SOUL AND FOR HIS VOCATION. SHE IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A SPIRITUAL MOTHER.

 

PEOPLE ASK ME WHY WE HAVE HAD SO MANY PRIESTS ORDAINED FROM THIS PARISH. I TELL THEM THAT I DO NOT KNOW. GOD CALLS MEN TO THE PRIESTHOOD. GOD’S WAYS ARE MYSTERIOUS. VERY OFTEN HIS WAYS ARE HIDDEN IN THE LIVES AND PRAYERS OF PEOPLE WE DO NOT EVEN KNOW.

 

THERE IS ANOTHER TRUE STORY OF A VERY FAMOUS FAMILY IN ENGLAND. MANY OF YOU HAVE HEARD OF THE ROLLS ROYCE, A VERY EXPENSIVE AND EXCLUSIVE AUTOMOBILE MADE IN ENGLAND.

 

THE SPIRITUAL MOTHER IN OUR STORY WAS A WOMAN WHO BELONGED TO THE ROLLS FAMILY. HER NAME WAS ELIZA ROLLS. THEY WERE A WEALTHY PROTESTANT FAMILY IN ENGLAND. ELIZA ROLLS MARRIED A CATHOLIC MAN BY THE NAME OF COL. JOHN FRANCIS VAUGHAN. ELIZA BECAME A CATHOLIC OVER THE PROTEST OF HER RELATIVES.

 

AFTER HER CONVERSION ELIZA ROLLS VAUGHAN SPENT ONE HOUR DAILY BEFORE THE BLESSED SACRAMENT PRAYING FOR VOCATIONS IN HER FAMILY. SHE AND COL. VAUGHAN HAD 14 CHILDREN. FOUR GIRLS BECAME RELIGIOUS SISTERS.  TWO OF THE BOYS WERE ORDAINED PRIESTS IN RELIGIOUS ORDERS AND FOUR BECAME DIOCESAN PRIESTS. ONE WAS A BISHOP IN SALFORD ENGLAND. THE OLDEST BROTHER WAS A CARDINAL IN THE DIOCESE OF SYDNEY AUSTRALIA.  HERBERT CARDINAL VAUGHAN THE OLDEST BROTHER ORDAINED HIS YOUNGEST BROTHER WHO BECAME THE ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER IN LONDON.  

 

THIS WAS AN UNUSUAL FAMILY AND AN UNUSUAL ANSWER TO PRAYER.

MRS. ROLLS VAUGHAN WAS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A SPIRITUAL MOTHER WHO PRAYED DILIGENTLY FOR VOCATIONS IN HER OWN FAMILY.

 

MY FINAL STORY OF A SPIRITUAL MOTHER INVOLVES A TEENAGER. SHE IS A PORTUGUESE GIRL BY THE NAME OF BL. ALESSANDRINA DA COSTA. ALESSANDRINA WAS A TEENAGER WHEN SHE FELL FROM A WINDOW WHILE FLEEING A SEXUAL PREDATOR. SHE WAS COMPLETELY PARALYZED. SHE SPENT THE NEXT 30 YEARS OF HER LIFE BEDRIDDEN AND OFFERING HER SUFFERINGS FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS.

 

SHE REVEALED TO HER SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR THAT JESUS HAD TOLD HER THE NAME OF A PRIEST IN LISBON WHO WAS CLOSE TO THE RUINATION OF HIS SOUL. HE ASKED HER IF SHE WOULD BE WILLING TO BEAR SEVERE SUFFERINGS FOR THE SALVATION OF HIS SOUL. SHE CONSENTED TO THIS REQUEST AND ENDURED MUCH PAIN.

 

IT WAS LATER ESTABLISHED THAT THE PRIEST HAD GONE TO THE SHRINE IN LOURDES TO MAKE A RETREAT. HE SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK AS THE RETREAT WAS ENDING. BUT BEFORE DYING, HE ASKED TO MAKE A CONFESSION AND RECEIVE COMMUNION.

 

GOD CALLS MEN TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE CONSECRATED LIFE TO SERVE HIS PEOPLE. IT IS UP TO US TO PRAY THAT THEY ANSWER THE CALL AND THAT THEY REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THEIR COMMITMENT.

 

GOD CALLED MEN FROM THIS PARISH TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE PERMANENT DEACONATE. THESE MEN RESPONDED POSITIVELY TO THAT CALL. IN ESSENCE THIS IS WHAT THEY SAID BY THEIR RESPONSE: I WILL TRY TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY TO LIVE OUT THIS VOCATION RESPONSIBLY AND EFFECTIVELY WITH THE GRACE OF GOD.

 

YOU, THE PEOPLE OF ST. DANIEL PARISH, CAN BE JUSTLY PROUD OF THE VOCATIONS THAT YOU HAVE PRODUCED. REMEMBER THAT IT IS YOUR PRAYERS AND YOUR GOOD EXAMPLE THAT INSPIRES MEN AND WOMEN TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND CONSECRATED LIFE..   

 

 

TODAY, DURING THIS VOCATION AWARENESS WEEK WE REMEMBER THE MEN THAT ST. DANIEL PARISH SPONSORED FOR THE PRIESTHOOD: MONSIGNOR ROBERT YEAZEL WHO IS NOW RETIRED; FATHER DANIEL CARUSO, PASTOR OF ST. PETER, OUR LADY OF POMPEII AND ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCHES; FATHER RICHARD PRIOR, PASTOR OF SACRED HEART CHURCH IN CICERO; FATHER CLIFFORD AUTH, PASTOR OF ST. MARY’S CHURCH IN BALDWINSVILLE; FATHER CHRISTOPHER CELENTANO PASTOR OF DIVINE MERCY IN CENTRAL SQUARE, ST. BERNADETTE IN CONSTANTIA AND ST. MARY OF THE ASSUMPTION IN CLEVELAND, NY.; FATHER CHRISTOPHER SEIBT WHO IS PRESENTLY STUDYING CANON LAW AT THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY IN WASHINGTON, D.C.; DEACON JOSEPH CELENTANO SERVING AT ST. DANIEL PARISH AND DEACON THOMAS KANE WHO SERVED SO HONORABLY AND IS NOW DECEASED.

 

OUR ADORATION CHAPEL IS OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK. WHEN YOU WORSHIP THERE PRAY FOR THESE MEN AND PRAY FOR VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND CONSECRATED LIFE. PRAY ALSO FOR OUR SEMINARIAN TYLER SANTY WHO WILL BE JOINING THE DOMINICAN ORDER.