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The vision will not disappoint Print
Guest column
Thursday, Sep. 20, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Guest Column

Visus Non Mentietur — “The vision will not disappoint”— is taken from the book of the prophet Habakkuk 2:3.

This scriptural text, which happens to be the Episcopal Motto of His Excellency the Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino, in a way captures his vision for priestly vocations in the Diocese of Madison.

Promoting vocations

When Bishop Morlino was appointed the fourth Bishop of Madison in May of 2003, we had no more than six seminarians studying for the Diocese of Madison.

From the day he was in installed as Bishop of Madison on August 1, 2003, Bishop Morlino made it clear that he was committed to promoting vocations and increasing the number of seminarians studying for the priesthood in the diocese.

He had a private and prayerful desire (never made publicly known) that there would be 30 seminarians studying for the priesthood before the 10th anniversary of his arrival in the diocese.

This fall, as our seminarians return to school, I can report to you that we have 32 men now studying at various levels of seminary formation for the Diocese of Madison. The vision indeed has not disappointed us; rather the Lord has continued to bless the vision and hope of Bishop Morlino.

Lord continues to invite

The story of salvation, we are often reminded, begins with God’s desire, not ours. It is the Lord who continues to invite these men and many others to “come follow him” in a special way.

Looking back to what has transpired to get us to where we are today, we can all agree that it is all the Lord’s doing. For we say, “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name give the glory.”

It is also important to point out what the grace of God can accomplish in us when we work together, pray together, and are joined in one single purpose of doing the work of God.

Coming together

This is where the vision of our Bishop played a very vital role in the numbers we have today. He reawakened in our consciousness the need to pray for and promote priestly vocations and enjoined us all to pray fervently and promote vocations without ceasing.

As a result of his vision, and our coming together under that vision, many parishes started weekly or monthly Eucharistic Adoration for vocations. There are many other programs, like the Vocations Traveling Chalice, that many parishes adopted as a way to remind families to pray for increase in by vocations.

The diocesan Office of Vocations adopted new measures and programs as well. All these human efforts were blessed by the Lord to get to where we are today.

In the vocations issue of this week’s paper, you will read the stories of the new men who were recently accepted as seminarians. Their background, life experiences, and stories are as diverse as one can imagine; however, they all share one thing in common: great love for the Church and a passion to serve the Lord. I cannot be any prouder of the quality of men we have in our seminary program.

Support seminarian training

I want to mention that now more than ever is the need to support the training of these seminarians financially. As one can imagine, having more seminarians means spending more money for priestly education from the St. Joseph Fund.

We are asking all the good people of the diocese to remember the St. Joseph Fund in your will and bequests or to simply make a donation to the St. Joseph’s Fund.

In the coming months, the Office of Stewardship will be rolling out new initiatives that will help guarantee that we never turn away any good candidate because of financial reasons. I hope that we can count on your continued prayers and support.

In closing, we commend all of our seminarians and discerners to the protective care of Our Blessed Mother Mary.

We can look forward to the future with hope and renewed enthusiasm because of the Lord’s blessings on us, knowing well that the vision has not disappointed us.


Fr. Paul Ugo Arinze is the director of vocations for the Diocese of Madison.