This Sunday is often referred to as “Good Shepherd Sunday” since the fourth Sunday of Easter always has the Gospel reading from St. John where Jesus is referring to himself as the Good Shepherd. On this very weekend six years ago, Fr. Jim Chern, our Director of Vocations, was celebrating his 10th Anniversary as a priest. His homily from that weekend reflected on that very Gospel reading, Christ's eternal Priesthood, and Fr. Chern's own experience and realization that his vocation to the priesthood, like Christ's love "doesn't have a term limit..:
“Life is an unrealistic goal”
That is the argument that Australian academic Helen Goltz is making as she proposes limiting, or 'shortening,' the bonds of marriage. “We have fixed term contracts for the buying of property, cars and insurance,” she says, “But there is only one contract available for marriage and it is for life. Is it time to consider introducing fixed-term marriage contracts?” According to the NY Post, under the plan, couples would sign a 5 or 10 year contract - if it works, great, if not, the union would simply dissolve without what she calls the, “shame and stigma” that is associated with divorce. It’s somewhat surprising that it’s taken this long for someone to propose such a thing.
With reportedly 45% of marriages ending in divorce, Ms. Goltz, no doubt, means well. Just as a Catholic sociologist and a priest did, over 10 years ago, when he proposed something similar when he argued that there should be the establishment of what he calls the “Priest Corps,” something like the Peace Corps. His plan is that in the “Priest Corps” young men who are interested would commit themselves to a limited term of service to the Church in the priesthood, say five or ten years, which would then be renewable. If they like being priests—and he argues that the evidence in many studies suggests that they would— they may want to stay. If not, then they are free to go, with gratitude and respect....
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