Archbishop DiNardo spoke on several subjects that he considers to be of the utmost importance. He commented on the holiness of the present season. and pointed out the richness of the Sunday and daily readings from the Old Testament during Advent. From these readings we see how people looked forward to the messiah. However those people could not foresee the greatness of the coming of Our Lord.
On the subject of vocations he noted how important it is today for parishes to foster vocations. Every parish must look within itself and ask how it can encourage its young people to think about serving as priests, sisters, and brothers. Unfortunately there is a serious shortage of young men graduating from seminary, and unless things change soon, some parishes may not have a parish priest. Also, few young women are considering religious life, which is an important vocation.
However, Archbishop DiNardo did say that there is an abundance of young people who are coming up who would make tremendous candidates if given a little encouragement and a little push. These young people are the resources of the Archdiocese, and vocations should emerge. It would help if everyone in a parish asked the bold question, "Have you ever thought of being a priest?" Unfortunately there is an interest in vocation formation at only some of the churches. Many priests are urgently needed. Archbishop DiNardo said he is not afraid to ask Confirmation classes if they have considered becoming priests, and he singles out those who are most likely candidates. Priests must feed his people with the kind of faith that will produce vocations for which we must pray to the Prince of Peace in the manger. The Cross, he said, is always shining and shadowing the Babe in the crib. We must also remember to pray to the Mother of God, who gave us her Son,
He also saluted the Serrans of the Archdiocese, who he said were shepherds and workers for vocations. In this Archdiocese, he said, there are many Serra clubs, whereas in. Sioux City, where he also served as Coadjutor Bishop, there was only one Serra Club, and it was difficult to establish a second Club. Serrans, he said, must continue their work to make sure that there will be enough shepherds to guide the Church.
Archbishop DiNardo will succeed Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza when the latter retires. He indicated that he has personally visited 115 of its 160 parishes in the Archdiocese. He has also visited the University of St. Thomas and other Diocesan offices and associations. He assured everyone jokingly that he will have continuity when he assumes the office of Archbishop, although he may have some things "up his sleeve", because he has made some notations from time to time after his visits.