No ordinary dinner
One Australian diocese has stated that one of the highlights of the year, is the 'Archbishop's Dinner". This is a meal hosted by the Archbishop for the young and not so young men of the diocese. These individuals are invited to come together to think about the priesthood.
Initially, a letter is sent from the Archbishop to the priests of his diocese inviting them to submit names of suitable candidates and following receipt of the nominations the Archbishop sends a personal invitation to each man to come to his house for dinner.
This occasion is facilitated by the Vocations Office and Rector of the Seminary. The event is a progression of talks and multi-media, finishing with small groups lead by priests or seminarians, in which the men have a chance to ask questions and discuss the priesthood. This dinner is well attended and it would be fair to say that many of the seminarians would have attended one of these nights.
Some dioceses in the US host an annual vocations dinner whereby priests, sisters, brothers, deacons, campus ministers, counselors, lay members of parish staff together with family and friends are given the opportunity to invite a young adult to dinner at the Seminary and to listen to some informal presentations given by priests and religious regarding life as a seminarian, priest, sister and brother and to consider the call in their own lives.
Such evenings begin with Evening Prayer in the chapel, followed by dinner and a short discussion on what qualities the Church looks for when a person presents themselves as one interested in the priesthood or consecrated life. These qualities include a relationship with God; a responsiveness and capacity to serve a variety of people; faith and a sense of humor; leadership skills and the ability to live simply and share a common life.
Vocations Guide to Priesthood
The Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to pray “Heavenly Father You have not chosen us priests because of what we are, but, because of what we might become…..Look at the men that our Lord chose! The group that He gathered around Him did not give tremendous promise. Peter was anything but a rock, He was the most vacillating weak individual, making promises he never could keep, stumbling, falling and almost seeming like a broken reed but he became a rock”
History records that Abraham was too old. Jeremiah was too young. Zacheus was too small. Moses killed a man and Samson broke his vow as a Nazarene. Noah was a drunk. Job was a bankrupt. Jacob was a liar. Joseph was abused. Kind David was an adulterer and a murderer. Naomi was a widow. Leah was unattractive. Rahab was a prostitute. Ester belonged to an ethnic minority and Saul who became Paul was not a good speaker.
They were not qualified