|Br. Timothy Danaher, O.P., with his parents William and Theresa.|
In a recent interview with the National Catholic Register, Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C., and chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, discusses the important role family plays in the conversation about consecrated life.
“The family has to be the foundation from which good vocations are received or planted and the seeds are nurtured. That can be related to vocations with the diocesan priesthood. So much of our work has to be with parents and families to help them understand what this life is and their role in encouraging their sons or daughters, when it comes to consecrated life, and to have their hearts open to it. That was presumed before. There was a time in history when, even when I was a seminarian … that was a given," Burbidge said. “So that’s where we have to do much better work: to be nurturing and helping the parents. That has to be the essential part of vocation work, so we’re not just going to say we need our young people to learn about consecrated life, but their families need to be involved, too."
According to a CARA survey on the discernment process, “The number three seems to be critical in making a difference in the life of someone contemplating a vocation. When three or more people encourage someone to consider a religious vocation, he or she is far more likely to take serious steps toward answering that call.”
For more on this topic, read Fr. Andrew Hofer’s article "How to talk to your family about your vocation."