IT IS ONLY right for all Catholics to pray for vocations, asking "the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest field ."

One trend that baffles many Catholics is that highly educated young men today are prepared to make sacrifices to leave affluent Singapore - not mentioning their loved ones - to pursue their vocation in one of the priestly societies overseas. I know one young man who has already gone overseas for his seminary education and spiritual formation. Two others will soon be taking the same path.

It is also interesting to note that two Singaporean priests in the Scheut Missions chose to leave the comfortable life in Singapore to serve the poor in overseas missions.

It reminds me of the young French and Portuguese priests in the early days who came to the East to preach the Gospel to the natives. They endured hardship and even persecution. Many lived here for a good part of their life and died in their adopted homelands.

Some pertinent questions which have been recurring in the minds of many Catholics are: Why do our young men today choose to make personal sacrifices to go overseas and become religious society priests? Why are they not interested in going to the local seminary and becoming diocesan priests?

Perhaps, it is time for the local church authority and the relevant organisation to do some soul-searching to search for the right answers. Catholics should pray that the Lord of the Harvest will reveal the answers to them.

Nelson Quah

Singapore 650524

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