| By Father Andy Laframboise

Beg! Form! Call!

My brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Saginaw, the Lord Jesus wishes to fill us with his riches! He has not stopped loving us. He has not left the Church. He continues to raise up men and women as his faithful disciples. He continues to call us to holiness. One of the riches he wishes to bestow upon us is an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. For this article, I would like to share with you the three-point plan guiding our vocation efforts moving forward.



Imagine being a beggar and not knowing it. You would not beg, and because you would not beg, you would also go hungry. Are we starving as a church regarding vocations because we have not seen ourselves as beggars?

Let’s embrace the fact that we are beggars, for “the hungry he has filled with good things.” (Lk 1:53) The Lord wants to fill our diocese with men and women responding to his call.

Wouldn’t it be a blessing if your parish could give birth to a seminarian or religious vocation? One way we will be “begging” is by asking the parishes to begin praying the Memorare prayer on page 7, preferably at the end of Mass, for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life in our diocese and parishes. This will begin Aug. 4, the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests. Please pray it in your homes for this same intention.


We want to form our youth to help them understand what a vocation is. God has a plan for them— a plan for their happiness, holiness and blessing. No one knows better than God how to bring about the fulfillment of our dreams.

On this point, we are also asking that parishes form vocation committees to reflect how they can build up a culture of vocations in their parish. In March, Rhonda Gruenewald from Vocation Ministry presented to our priests. We had another workshop in April, which about 40 people attended from various parishes to learn how to start and foster vocation work in their parishes. I have resource manuals available for parishes if you are interested in assisting. There is an abundance of resources at the Vocation Ministry website, vocationministry.com. You could also read the book Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry.


We are setting aside a weekend in September to be “Called by Name Sunday.” That weekend, we will encourage pastors to preach on vocations and encourage all the faithful to ask the Holy Spirit whether there is someone he is calling you to invite. Sometimes all it takes is a simple invitation, such as, “Have you ever thought about the priesthood? You have virtues I admire in priests. You should pray about it.” There are men and women out there that God wishes to ask. He gives a vocation through prayer, but he also uses others to help foster and bring to fruition that call.

Mary is our patroness in the Diocese of Saginaw. She loves to spoil her children with wonderful gifts. This is one of them. She wishes us to be blessed with generous and faithful priests and religious. She wishes us to be blessed with beautiful, life-giving marriages. Let us be beggars before the Lord with our empty hands. As he did for the Blessed Mother, may he too fill us with good things. (Lk 1:53)

Father Andy Laframboise is pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Reese and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Vassar and director of priestly vocations. He holds a licentiate in Sacred Theology in Marriage and Family Studies from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.