Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

What does it mean to be a priest or a consecrated person?

Pope Benedict XVI has described priesthood and the consecrated life as identifying with Christ as “a witness to the absolute primacy of God in human life and history.” The Holy Father explains that priests and consecrated persons have the ability to draw those around them closer to God, noting that “every priest, every consecrated person, faithful to his or her vocation, radiates the joy of serving Christ and draws all Christians to respond to the universal call to holiness.”

What an amazing feeling to answer God’s call! It is freeing to one’s mind and one’s soul.

Dear young people, Christ invites you to listen to his teachings and fix your eyes on his face. Our Blessed Mother Mary encourages you to follow Him. She speaks to you as she spoke to the stewards at the wedding feast in Cana: “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). Be generous, and you can be sure that God will not be outdone in generosity towards you.

There are many in the world and around us who are living in darkness and sin, living meaningless and even destructive lives. They need the light of the Gospel to give meaning to their lives. Those who are poor, sick, elderly and rejected by society need assistance and compassion. You will find great fulfilment when you share the Good News with others and help them to find meaning in their lives. You will enjoy peace and joy when you are able to help others to experience the love and compassion of Christ, a peace and joy that the world cannot give, a peace and joy which only God can give.

A vocation is a call, an invitation to serve the Lord. Let us pray that more young men and women will hear and generously respond to the call of the Lord, “Come, follow Me!”

Let us pray that those whom the Lord has chosen and called will be faithful and joyful witnesses of the Gospel, to which they consecrated their existence. Fill them with your Spirit of fortitude and prudence so that they may be able to discover the full truth about themselves and their own vocation.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in addition to your prayers for vocations in the Catholic Church, I exhort you to join the Vocation Promotion Team in your parish and to join the Serra Club of our Archdiocese, which fosters and promotes vocations.

May Jesus waken in the hearts of young people the desire to be witnesses to the power of His love in the world today.

Yours devotedly in Christ,
Archbishop Nicholas Chia

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