National Vocations Awareness Week runs from 4 to 11 August.
Saint Jean Baptiste-Marie-Vianney lived in times not dissimilar to our own. France after the French Revolution was de-Christianised.
Saint John was born in 1786, three years prior to the Revolution. The people of his time were in different and hostile to religion.
I believe that the situation today is worse. Hostility, indifference, materialism, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, abortion etc. are just some of the evils that afflict us today.
St John Vianney was a man with a vision. Jesus Christ was the centre and purpose of his life. We all know of his heroic ministry to the people of Ars. His passion for souls exemplified in the confessional, sometimes up to 16 hours a day. His love for the priesthood, the Mass and the Sacraments, his devotion to the sick, spiritual direction, charitable works, and many others pastoral duties.
Personally, what I find enriching about his ministry was his total commitment. His commitment to Jesus Christ, His Church and to the priesthood was heroic and of a supernatural nature. Many people after working many years look forward to retirement.
John Vianney never thought of retirement. His priestly ministry was dedicated to God’s people. God has called each and every one of us to love and to serve him. John Vianney overcame enormous obstacles to become a priest. His heroic commitment encourages us to keep going, not to give up because at the end of the day Christ will triumph.
All seminarians and priests should imitate the commitment of this holy Saint and dedicate their lives to our Lord Jesus Christ and to His Blessed Mother Mary.
Fr Peter Lamont is the parish priest of Holy Name of Mary Parish, Rydalmere.
For more information about Vocations in the Diocese of Parramatta, please visit: www.parracatholic.org/vocations/