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April 22, 2018

After a Sunday Mass, a young boy suddenly announced to his mother, “Mom, I’ve decided to become a priest when I grow up.” The mother was very glad to hear it for she always worried about the shortage of priests and her parish always prayed for vocations.  “That’s good, but what made you decide that?”

The boy answered: “Mom, I have two reasons for that.  First, I don’t have to pay my due.  I have never seen the ushers pass the basket to the priest.  Second, I have to go to church on Sunday anyway; and I figure it will be more fun to stand up and yell at the people, than to sit and listen!”

On this Sunday of World Day of Prayer for Vocations, we thank all priests, deacons, religious people and lay ministers who have been witnesses to the loving God faithfully.  Some of them have a very heavy job due to their health, their age and the demands of their community (Not so with your parish priest, he has an easy job in Medicine Hat).  This year there might be priests who will be transferred to the new parish.  Thanks be to God for their willingness to serve and their obedience to the bishop.  Please pray for them.

You may have heard many stories about religious vocations.  Today I tell you a lay vocation story and it is very “strange.”  Someone introduced “L” to me after a Sunday Mass.  L invited me to his home for a coffee.  It was a decent home in a big city.  L was a dentist by profession.  When I entered the house, 4 of his children stood up, folded their arms and said respectfully, “Hello Father;” I said hello back to them and they continued their play.  Then L whispered in my ears, “The twins there I picked up at the garbage piles 4 years ago. I don’t want them to know about it, just let them think we are their biological parents.”  Around the coffee table L began to tell his story.

“At a Sunday Mass, my priest mentioned the sin of abortion in the country.  He estimated more than 1.5 million abortions happened in the country yearly.  Most of fetuses were thrown in garbage.  I was so shocked and decided to do something.  Every night after the supper, 3 friends and I go to different garbage collection places especially those that are close to the medical clinics.  The garbage trucks come at 8:30 pm so we have to beat them and also fight the wild dogs and cats.  We find 10 to 25 fetuses a night.  We take them home, wash them, shelter them in a wooden box, give them a name, and put all boxes in the freezer.  At the end of the week, we take them to the cemetery and bury them.  So far we have buried more than 50,000 fetuses in the last ten years.  One night we heard a cry of a baby.  We found a basket with the twin girls in it.  They were 2 or 3 days old.  I took them home and they became my children.  Look at them.  They are so happy and full of joy.

On the way home I thought about that man, his family and his friends.  Their lay vocation was a strange but very creative one.  They are strong witnesses to the love of God in this world.  Please pray for them.  Think about your Christian vocation.  In which way can you be a faithful witness to God and extended the hands of the Good Shepherd?