December 15, 2014

OTTAWA – As Pope Francis inaugurated the Year of Consecrated Life Nov. 30, Canada's apostolic nuncio exhorted Canadian religious to build a culture of vocations.

Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi urged Canada's religious men and women to not be afraid to make a courageous and direct call to young people.

"Go among the youth," he wrote in a document entitled Take Care of Vocations. "Go personally to them and call."

"The hearts of many of the young and not so young are ready to listen to you," the nuncio said. "Many of them are looking for a purpose for their life; they are waiting to discover a mission that is worth consecrating their life to."

The nuncio acknowledged the suffering brought by a drop in the numbers of religious in Canada from 60,000 in the 1960s to 15,000 today, with a median age of 80.

Bonazzi said Jesus is offering Canadian religious a "heartfelt appeal" to "answer an urgent need which is paramount for the life of the Church."