It is the plan and purpose of Jesus that all people, in every time and place, be invited to be his follower and a member of his Catholic Church.
That’s why sharing our Catholic Faith with others is part of being a Christian, in addition to daily prayer, Sunday worship at Mass, and doing works of mercy.
A priest cannot, must not engage in this ministry alone, but collaborate with deacons, religious, and laity.
All members of the Church, by virtue of our faith and baptism, are supposed to be partners to continue Jesus’ mission of sharing our Catholic Faith with others.
That is not a consequence of a temporary priest shortage, but of the great commission that Jesus gives to his followers: go and make disciples.
And it’s not a concession on the part of the priest, but one of his ministries: to help us to recognize our gifts, to develop them, and then to put us to work.
Yes, we need more priests, but that’s in order to have more people engaged in mission, and so to have more people who know the blessing of discipleship!
If we don’t feel competent to be in a leadership role or teach a group of people, we can at the very least help continue the mission of Jesus by our example.
If people see us living to give life and gladness to others, and being happy and fulfilled doing that, they will be inspired to ask how they can have the same.
And we can respond by inviting them to love Jesus, to follow the example of Jesus, to live to give, and therein to find happiness and a filled-full life.
What do can you do to be a partner in the mission and ministry of the Church?