By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Archdiocese is hoping the good will generated by the recent visit of Pope Francis will give a big boost to a campaign to recruit candidates for the priesthood.

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It’s a simple campaign – “Called by Name.”

The archdiocese is asking parishioners to identify young men 16 and older whom they think might make good priests and nominate them in writing to the pastor.

 

 

Father Stephen DeLacy is the vocation director for the archdiocese. He says the impact of the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia certainly is affecting young men who may be contemplating their vocations in life:

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“I think Pope Francis is very dynamic and he makes the Gospel message so relevant to the people today. And that inspires young men to say ‘if the Pope can make the Gospel message relevant, then so can I’.”

 

Father Stephen DeLacy (Credit: Mark Abrams)

Father Stephen DeLacy (Credit: Mark Abrams)

 

He says the archdiocese wants to invite men to come out to the seminary for a visit, talk with the seminarians and priests, and explore the possibilities.

Nomination cards, DeLacy says, will be in the pews next month:

“Simply drop it in the collection basket and then the names will be collected by the pastor forwarded to my office and then between my office and the pastor, they’ll receive a simple invitation to consider if God is calling them to the priesthood.”

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DeLacy says the hope is that those who are trying to discern a calling might seriously explore a weekend at the seminary where they can talk with others who are looking at a life of service.