You wouldn’t believe it, but young people discerning a
vocation to the consecrated life and/or priesthood in the USA, today, face the
problem of debt.

Personal debt is one thing and we all have to watch our
spending. And we are the ones who to repay the credit card companies, not someone else. It is a very true experience to say that consumerism often replaces Christ as the focus of our lives.

BUT the
significant problem at hand is the amount of education debts young people have to pay
off before following the vocation given to them. Many young people went to the university, received a good education and now felt called to serve the Lord and the Church as a priest or sister and can’t because they have repay their college loans. It is the responsible thing to do. It is also the thing that will prevent someone from actually fulfilling their calling. Large college debts make a
person ineligible from entering a religious order or a diocesan formation
. Some religious orders will make some arrangement if the debt is “reasonable”
especially if the candidate is “worthy.” Many will not because their own income is not capable to lend that kind of assistance. Again, personal debts are the responsibility
of the person. The video on the Mater Ecclesiae website (see below) speaks of grants and the tough call made in discerning who gets help, who doesn’t. These grants assist in paying off
those college debts.

Perhaps as an act of charity we could make a charitable offering
to one of the agencies helping these young men and women deal with their
educational debts. Christmas is a time for giving with love.

This article, “Debt, the Vocation Killer” gives some perspective on the matter. Plus, there are worthy organizations that help in dealing with the educational debt like the Laboure Society and Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations.