TO THE EDITOR:
In his July 16 article, Father John A. Kiley spoke about the influence that the religious sisters had on his vocation to the priesthood. I could not agree more.
My experience with the Religious Venerini Sisters in middle school and the Sisters of Mercy in high school was a key factor in my entering religious life. These devoted women, through their positive attitude and religious demeanor, helped me to see the value in serving God and the Church.
They are to be commended for their dedication to the ministry of education.
They were an inspiration to me over the years and I continue to cherish the influence they had on me as a young man in middle and high school.
I would also like to point out that many of our religious brothers teaching in the Church today have also influenced many young men and women to consider a Church vocation, be it priesthood or religious life. These men, who are definitely in the minority, have also devoted many years of service to the Church through classroom instruction, coaching, serving as class moderators, etc. It is always heartwarming to see students return to our schools to visit their teachers and speak about their lives. I recently met a Mom whose son is entering the seminary and she mentioned her child's high school experience and the influence of the school community in helping to shape his future. Her eyes were filled with gratitude and pride as she spoke of her son's decision to begin studies for the priesthood.
Let us take the time this year to support and pray for our priests — during this year of the priesthood and also remember in prayer those religious women and men, religious sisters and brothers, who have helped to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The future of our Church lies in the dedicated men and women who have been "formed" by the priests and religious of our dioceses.
Br. Clifford M. King, S.C.