Surge in Vocations in Spain
Posted on 10. May, 2012
You’d be hard pressed to find a country which has been traditionally more Catholic than Spain. It’s been at the centre of the story of the Church for hundreds of years, but in recent times it has faced many of the same challenges we have in Ireland and England. There has been a falling off in attendance, an aging of the parish congregations and of course a dramatic drop in vocations. Times however seem to be changing, most especially on the last issue.
The bishops of Spain have launched themselves into the world of social media and their work around vocations has gone viral. They’ve posted a number of videos on Youtube to mark the country’s Seminary Day on May 19th. Faces of different men appear on screen saying things like, “I can’t promise you a life of adventure, but I can promise you one that will be exciting.” As the camera pulls back we see that the men are priests. This year in Spain there has been a 4.2% increase in men coming forward for the priesthood. A modest increase, but when placed in the context of an almost continuous freefall over the past years it’s a significant result.
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But where is this shift coming from. Is it a result of the economic downturn in Spain at the moment? Is it part of a wider spiritual awakening that may have been prompted by events like World Youth Day in Madrid last year? What is clear is that there is a need for people to come forward to devote themselves in a special way to following Christ. There is a need for people who have a passion of the Gospel message, a heart sustained by faith and compassion and courage to go out to the whole world.
For more information on the situation in Spain check out this week’s edition of The Tablet.