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BC hosts summit to look at way to promote vocations


Boston College president Father William Leahy delivers his "Summit on Vocations" dinner keynote address June 20. Pilot photo/Christopher S. Pineo

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BRIGHTON -- Catholic churchmen from 15 dioceses and 10 priestly orders converged on Boston College, June 20-21, to discuss, explore and address a major concern in the Church -- vocations.

At the "Summit on Vocations: Exploring Ways to Promote Vocations to the Priesthood," archbishops, bishops, priests, vocation directors, Catholic educators, Catholic college and university presidents discussed the results of a recent research study commissioned by Boston College and the Jesuit Conference to assess the impact of higher education on the vocational discernment of men entering the seminary and religious life in the United States.

Father William P. Leahy, S.J., president of Boston College, gave a keynote address at the college's Cadigan Alumni Center on the first day of the summit.

"I remain convinced; there are vocations to be had in our Church -- especially in the United States," he said.

The research study, "The Influence of College Experiences on Vocational Discernment to Priesthood and Religious Life," was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) in Washington, and confirmed much of what Father Leahy said in his remarks.

He said the key to tapping into the potential vocations is an example of living "in hope and with faith" demonstrated by priests and religious engaged interpersonally with students.

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