As a young boy when I first grasped that there was going to be a shortage of priests I remember experiencing a pang of guilt accompanied by an interior question – “Am I the one who has to make the sacrifice to be a priest?!” Even though my faith was important to me and the dearth of vocations disturbed me, I did not want to be a priest. I desired to be married and to have a family. With some rationalization I found myself a convenient excuse: “I am a math and science guy. I want to be an engineer. Those men who like English and writing – those are the ones whose duty it is to be priests!”
As the years went by I embarked on engineering studies. It was in the midst of a thriving campus ministry that I learned that we don’t just have a shortage of men signing up to be priests, we have a shortage of faithful men period. This revolutionized my world-view. It allowed me to instead put the focus on growing in my relationship with Christ rather than on a yes or no to the priesthood. Gradually something unexpected happened. A deep desire overtook the guilt feeling I had about the priesthood. Yes, the sacrifice was there, but this time, I wanted to make that sacrifice for Christ and His Church – this time, I wanted to be a priest.
~ Fr. John Gancarz