We continue to ask ‘the master of the harvest to bring forth laborers for his harvest.’ Since 2020, we have put forth a vision for a Homegrown Harvest, where men from this diocese step forward to study for the priesthood and become pastors in our parishes and schools. So many incredible missionaries have served us throughout the years, but we continue to need more men from our diocese to serve.
In October 2020, we hosted the first ever Homegrown Harvest Festival and Fundraiser for seminary education. Over the past three years this event has grown and we raised over $150,000 last year alone. The 4th Annual Homegrown Harvest will be held on Oct. 21 at St. Paul parish in Flowood. I will be celebrating the vigil mass that evening sat St. Paul’s and the seminarians will be altar serving and serving as lectors and eucharistic ministers. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m., and there will be a fantastic meal, a silent auction, a raffle and much more. Most importantly, the seminarians will be present and will get to thank each participant and supporter for helping them to discern God’s will.
It is not easy to be a priest, and it is difficult to step out and do something that is very different than the mainstream. Each of our seven seminarians has an inspiring story about how the Lord, and the people of God, encouraged them to think about the priesthood and how they finally decided to take the step of going to the seminary. But the road is long, and these men need our prayers and support. Jesus tells his disciples: “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few, so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (Matthew 9:38)
It can be easy to forget to pray for vocations, and it is tempting to sometimes think that our prayers won’t make a difference, but Jesus says that we should ask the Lord for help! So please pray for vocations today and ask the Lord to help you keep an eye out for someone in your parish who you can give an encouraging word to. I probably would have stayed silent about my desire for the priesthood if someone had not encouraged me to think about being a priest – you never know how the Lord may work through you if you are courageous and speak up.
Please join us later this month and support our seminarians by buying tickets or sponsoring the event. But the greatest gift you can give the Department of Vocations is your prayers and your encouragement to young men in our parishes to think about priesthood! The best and brightest should think about priesthood just as they consider other great options in their life. Encourage the young men in your parishes to prioritize priesthood and consider the possibility that they may be called to the altar to serve.
– Father Nick Adam, vocation director
Read about our current seminarians and their inspirational vocation stories at https://jacksondiocese.org/seminarians.
Tickets and sponsorships are still available for the Homegrown Harvest event! Visit https://bit.ly/HGHarvest2023 or email Father Nick Adam at email@example.com to support our seminarians.