Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto: ‘On Vocations’

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Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto
Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto

On January 15, Catholic Missions In Canada’s Apostolic Chancellor, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the Commission of Cardinals for oversight of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).

Cardinals of the Catholic Church are called to serve on committees and other ad hoc groups as part of their service to the Church.

At present, Cardinal Collins serves on the following Vatican commissions:

  • Congregation for Catholic Education
  • Pontifical Council for Social Communications
  • Commission of Cardinals for the oversight of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR)

In the Fall (Vocations) 2013 issue of Catholic Missions In Canada magazine, we reprinted the Cardinal’s vocation story. Please read his story below:

‘We should above all pray for vocations, for that is the single instruction that Jesus gave us.’

It was a moment I will never forget. I was in high school, and a young priest whom I greatly admired for his joyful spirit and for his faithful daily service of the suffering said to me: “Tom, you should think of becoming a priest.” I had thought a lot about it, and I suppose he knew.

He had encouraged me, inspired me with his example, and been an instrument of God’s grace in my life, and now it wasn’t just that he had suggested a priestly vocation to me—it was that HE had suggested it; he offered an invitation made credible by his life.

That is how some of the first apostles were called, as when Andrew led Peter to Jesus, and it is how people have been called by God to various vocations of service in the Church: He works through the words and example of one disciple to call another.

We should above all pray for vocations, for that is the single instruction that Jesus gave us: pray to the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into the harvest. But we also need to be Andrew to others, like the young priest who changed my life.

I am so deeply grateful for the gift of a vocation to the priesthood, and the only way to even begin to thank God is to try to serve faithfully; and also, perhaps, to “pass it on,” as we all should do, inviting those whom we sense has a vocation to serve our whole community a sister, brother, deacon or priest, or to serve in some other mission in the Church.

Reprinted with permission from Living With Christ, Vol. 17, No. 5, May 2011.

Please pray for Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto and Apostolic Chancellor of Catholic Missions In Canada, as he celebrates his 67th birthday today.