On March 15, 1994, a virtual tsunami struck the Liturgy of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Antonio Ortas wrote a document to the Episcopal conferences announcing that the Vatican had, for the first time, permitted altar girls. Over 20 years later, many question the impact of this decision as the Church continues to reap a desperately meager harvest of young men responding to God’s call to the Priesthood.

Born in 1997, I was blissfully unaware of the damage being wrought in the Eternal City. By the grace of God I was destined to remain ignorant of the fact for many years. Thinking back on my childhood, I remember instead the first time I heard the call. It must have been winter, because I can recall pushing the heavy comforter off my five-year-old self and sitting up in bed, compelled by a startling thought. I tiptoed into my mom’s room and told her the news.

“Mom, God wants me to become a priest.”   Continue Reading