Respond to the crisis of vocations with intensified prayer, not despair or a lax admissions process, Pope Francis told women and men religious during closing events for the Year of Consecrated Life, reports Catholic News Service (CNS).
The vocations process must be done "with seriousness, and one must discern well that this is a true vocation and help it grow," he told members of religious orders, secular institutes and consecrated virgins Feb. 1 in the Vatican audience hall.
The Pope met with some 5,000 men and women taking part in events in Rome to mark the close of the Year for Consecrated life, which began Nov. 30, 2014, and was to end Feb. 2, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the Jubilee of Consecrated Life.
Handing his written text over to Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Institutes for Apostolic Life, Pope Francis said he preferred to speak from his heart "because it's a bit boring to read" a prepared talk.
The Pope spoke candidly on being prophetic, obedient and resolving differences.
"During this Year of Mercy, if each one of you were able to never be a gossip-terrorist it would be a success for the church, a success of great holiness. Be brave!" he said.