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Faithful told to ‘continue the story of vocations’ through mission

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Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila waves to the crowd during Mass in honor of the Our Lady of La Naval on Jan. 24, 2020. (Photo by Maria Tan)

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Friday urged Catholics to embrace the mission and keep on sharing stories of vocations to inspire others to follow Christ.

“A Christian vocation is always a mission to share with others our experience of Jesus, the way he has looked at us and invited us, and what we have seen, heard, and touched about Jesus,” said the prelate. 

Tagle, who is pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, was the keynote speaker at the global meeting of Catholic vocation animators – the 80th Serra International Convention – in Chiang Mai, Thailand on June 23. 

The cardinal, who is in Rome, addressed more than 450 people from various Catholic dioceses around the world via an online conference platform. 

The prelate said a vocation that “proclaims Jesus through mission generates other vocations,” adding that the vocation promoters should draw inspiration from the rich history of the Church.

“Our saints and martyrs, our ancestors in the faith, many of whom are quiet workers in the Lord’s vineyard belong to the long line of disciple-missionaries who were faithful to their vocations and inspired others to discover Jesus’ unique call for them,” he said.

Serra International Foundation marks its 80th international convention with a celebration of a Holy Eucharist at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Chiang Mai, Thailand on June 22. Photo by Mark Saludes

Tagle called upon members of Serra to continue this legacy by actively embracing their own vocations and inviting others to join them on the journey toward encountering Jesus.

“It is up to us to continue the story of vocations through our mission. “Come and see” is Jesus’ invitation to each disciple. “Come to Jesus, see Jesus, and stay with Jesus” is every disciple’s missionary invitation to other people,” he said.

The Filipino prelate, however, warned of those who are posturing as a “Messiah,” because “there is only one Messiah”. He also said that a vocation that “does not seek other people to lead to Jesus is bound to wither away”. 

“Then we will have a vocational crisis. A vocation crisis is often rooted in a missionary crisis. To whom do we take our families and our young people? To a concert? To a movie theater? To a shopping mall?” he said, urging the public to “include Jesus as an important destination”. 

Serra International is the only lay organization aggregated to a primary pontifical work – the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations – to encourage and coordinate efforts to promote vocations to the sacred priesthood of the Catholic Church.

Since its founding in 1935 in Seattle, over 1,100 Serra clubs have been chartered in 46 countries around the world. Today, Serra’s global lay vocations apostolate is made strong by over 20,000 members.

Watch here the keynote speech by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

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