Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas during the mass for the groundbreaking ceremonies of the construction of the new Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary to be built in San Fabian, said in his homily, “Why do we need priests? We need priests because we need Jesus.”
The Ulopan para Bokasyon (UPB) is a movement and an association of the parishioners of the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, which believes that every vocation to the priesthood and the religious life is not just a personal and an individual vocation of the the one called by God, but also a communal vocation of the whole parish.
Blessed Pope John Paul II in his address during the 2005 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, said, "Young people need Christ, but they also know that Christ chose to be in need of them.”
Vocations to the priesthood is a challenge offered by God to the young people; a challenge which calls for them to accept God’s need for them to become His priests.
This calling happens in the family and in the parish community of the one called. The growth, nourishment and fulfillment of this calling will happen with the personal response of the young man called, and the communal acceptance of the parish of this special vocation.
It is in this belief that the Ulopan para Bokasyon (UPB) is established in the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, as a venue and a movement to fulfill these noble objectives: to pray for, promote and support vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.
Prayer. Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. Jesus says in Matthew 9:38 “to beg the master of the harvest to send laborers into the vineyard.” If we want more priests, sisters and brothers, we all need to ask and pray to God.
Promotion. The parish must take an active attitude in the promotion of vocations which should involve not only a few but the whole parish community.
Teach young people how to pray. Pope Benedict XVI said that unless we teach our youth how to pray, they will never hear God calling them into a deeper relationship with Him and into the discipleship of the Church.
Invite active young adults and teens to consider a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life. A simple, sincere comment should not be underestimated. An easy way to do this can be remembered by four letters: ICNU. “Juan, I see in you (ICNU) the qualities that would make a good priest, and I want to encourage you to pray about it.” It is a non-invasive way to encourage openness to a religious vocation. Don’t hesitate to ask your child, or your apo if he wants to become a priest!
Make it attractive. Show the priesthood for what it truly is – a call to be a spiritual father to the whole family of faith. Similarly, the consecrated life for a young woman is a call to be united to Christ in a unique way, and to be a spiritual mother to those she encounters in her life and service. The challenge for priests and religious is to be joyful models of their vocations.
Preach it, kaaro! Vocations must be talked about regularly if a “vocation culture” is to take root in parishes and homes. This means, first and foremost, the people need to hear about vocations from priests through homilies, prayers of the faithful, and discussions in the classroom. You are encouraged to talk among your barkadas, in your families, in your groups and associations. Vocations kept out of sight are out of mind.
Support. The vocation to the priesthood is also a communal vocation that needs the heart, the time and the treasure of all parishioners. Financial support to our seminarians is an obligation, not an option, of the parish. A monthly P20.00 given from the heart, wholeheartedly, and done with regularity will certainly help a seminarian become a priest!
The Parish Launching of the UPB
The Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr, is asking the parishioners to become a part of the Ulopan para Bokasyon (UPB) to pray, promote and support the vocations to the priesthood. The UPB will be launched on 12 August 2012.
Parishioners will be asked to take one UPB ID Pledge of Commitment, and sign his or her name in the Book of the Ulopan para Bokasyon (UPB), providing the address, contact numbers and the amount pledged to be given on a monthly basis.
The members of the family are encouraged to take one Pledge of Commitment each.
The Pledge of Commitment asks also the UPB member to pray everyday the Prayer for Vocations by Blessed Pope John Paul II.
The pledged amount is to be given to the parish office every month. A receipt shall be given to the UPB donor.