1. Newsletter Insert
2. Prayers of the Faithful for Vocations Sunday
3. Vocation Quotes
4. Signs of a Vocation to the Priesthood
5. Useful YouTube video links that promote vocations.
World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be observed on Sunday, May 8th, 2022. It is also known as ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’ because the Gospel is always from John chapter 10 where Jesus speaks of himself as being a caring shepherd. The purpose of this day is to publicly fulfill the Lord's instruction when he asked us: "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). Please pray that young men and women hear and respond generously to the Lord's call to the priesthood and religious life and the Church will always having pastors who care for God’s people with the heart of Christ himself.
On Sunday at St Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, Vocations Sunday will be marked by a holy hour of prayer led by Bishop Ger. All are welcome. Please come and pray with us.
PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL FOR VOCATIONS SUNDAY 2022
With faith and confidence, we now bring our prayers to God our Father who sent his Son to be our Good Shepherd and to lay down his life for us in love and service.
1. We pray for the Church, that her members may care for each other with the spirit of the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for his flock so that we might have life and have it to the full. Lord hear us.
2. On this Vocations Sunday, we pray for those whom God is calling to serve him in the priesthood and religious life. May they sense that call with greater clarity and have the courage to respond generously. Lord hear us.
3. We pray for our Diocesan Lay Vocations Council that they may work with our priests to create a culture of vocations in every parish community of our diocese. Lord hear us.
4. For Bishop N and all the priests of our diocese - that they might be renewed in faith and continue to be good shepherds of the people of God with truth, charity and joy. Lord hear us.
5. For all seminarians, who are studying for the priesthood for our diocese. May the Lord bless them, guide them and all those preparing for priesthood. Lord hear us.
6. For peace in the world at this time, especially in Ukraine. We pray for an end to conflict and violence. Lord hear us.
Merciful Father, hear the prayers of your people who praise you for your care. Through these prayers of intercession may we never grow indifferent to the needs of your people. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
‘You did not choose me, no I choose you and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last’ (John 15:16).
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you came to birth I consecrated you” prior to being told “You must go to all to whom I send you” (Jer. 1:4-7).
“I know who it is in whom I have placed my trust” (2 Tim. 1:12)
‘He called to him those he desired and they came to him’ (Mark 3:13).
“God has created my heart only for himself. He asks me to give it to him that he may make it happy”.
St John Vianney
“Only in friendship with Christ is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in his friendship do we experience beauty and liberation”.
Pope Benedict XVI, Opening Homily as pope.
“God has created me to do him some definitive service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission.”
St John Henry Newman
“I have done what is mine to do; may Christ teach you what is yours to do” St Francis of Assisi (From Thomas of Celano, First Life of St. Francis, 214).
‘Convinced of Christ: yes, I feel the need to proclaim him, I cannot keep silent. «Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!» (1 Cor. 9: 16). I am sent by him, by Christ himself, to do this. I am an apostle, I am a witness. The more distant the goal, the more difficult my mission the more pressing is the love that urges me to it (Cf. 2 Cor. 5: 13). I must bear witness to his name: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16: 16).
Pope Paul VI, Manila, 29 November 1970.
‘The call of God is one of the most beautiful things on earth. Think of the interweaving of divine and human love involved in a vocation. When God calls us to a particular way of life, he looks on us with his love; the moment we become aware of it a new life begins for us. Even before we were born, God was looking at us and loving us in the setting he had always planned for us, In fact, he brought us into being to put his plan for us into operation…
Anyone who hears his call often feels fear, and even doubts or terror, but when he discovers its implications, he also feels joy. So the most beautiful moment is not when a person hears the call, but when he says ‘yes’ making God’s call real, his will clinging to God’s. It is an allegiance for life, a continual ‘yes’ to God who repeats the invitation forever’.
‘Being united to Christ calls for renunciation. It means not wanting to impose our own way and our own will, not desiring to become someone else, but abandoning ourselves to him, however and wherever he wants to use us. As Saint Paul said: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). In the words “I do”, spoken at our priestly ordination, we made this fundamental renunciation of our desire to be independent, “self-made”. But day by day this great “yes” has to be lived out in the many little “yeses” and small sacrifices. This “yes” made up of tiny steps which together make up the great “yes”, can be lived out without bitterness and self-pity only if Christ is truly the centre of our lives. If we enter into true closeness to him. Then indeed we experience, amid sacrifices which can at first be painful, the growing joy of friendship with him, and all the small and sometimes great signs of his love, which he is constantly showing us. “The one who loses himself, finds himself”. When we dare to lose ourselves for the Lord, we come to experience the truth of these words’.
Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Chrism Mass, 9th April 2009.
SIGNS OF A VOCATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD
For many of us, it is not immediately clear who God is calling us to be and what path he wants us to follow. Finding the right path takes patience, time, prayer and discernment. The thoughts of priesthood will not come and go in a matter of minutes if that is the way of life God is calling you to embrace. But you might ask: how do I know if God is calling me to be a priest? Here are a few signs that suggest He might be:
· If you feel a desire to be a priest or to at least to consider it. If you do feel this desire, don’t be afraid of it or ignore it. Talk to someone you trust about it. In the words of St John Paul II: ‘It is Jesus who arouses within you the desire to do something beautiful with your life’ (World Youth Day, Rome 2000).
· If you are attracted to the person and message of Jesus Christ. His remains the greatest story ever told. His life and death contain human categories that speak to the story of our lives today and indeed human existence. We recognise our story in his story and his story in our story. His resurrection teaches us that God’s love is the greatest power in the world and because this is true, we dare to hope. The priest is someone who stakes his whole life on this and encourages others to do the same. This is what we call faith. The priest is a man who burns to make Christ known and loved and to lead others to friendship with him. He prays and works for unity, justice and peace – and to establish the kingdom that Jesus came to build.
· If you love the Church. Despite her failings - mine and yours - the priest is a man in love with the Church – not just the institutional Church but the Church as the Body of Christ and the people of God. Loving the church means loving her saints, her Tradition, her wisdom and all that is good, true and beautiful in her heritage – all that Christ has left us to enrich our lives and save us from evil, sadness and despair. Loving the Church means loving her woundedness, being conscious of her failings and having a desire for healing, justice and holiness. For the priest, the Church is his bride. Love for her captures his heart and he lives every day to be with and serve the community he serves.
· If you love people. If you love God’s people and want to help them in his name. If you do not want to live for yourself but for others. If you want out of the rat race and have become tired of the moral poverty of what the world offers as the keys to happiness. If you have an interest in people and feel a deep desire to help people and serve them – especially those who are most in need. If you can recognise yourself in these, perhaps God has created you to be a priest.
· If you love to pray and lead others in prayer. Have thoughts of priesthood coincided with a deepening of your prayer life? If so, then this is good. Prayer is the time when the Lord reveals himself to us and nudges us towards a greater clarity of his will. Apart from private prayer, of particular importance is the Mass and the sacrament of Reconciliation. At the Eucharist we hear his Word and receive Him intimately. Also in the Confessional where we are transformed by his mercy. The best penitents make the best confessors.
· If someone mentioned the possibility of you becoming a priest and what they said impacted on you. If this happened, then how did what they say rest with you? Perhaps they see something in you that you can’t see yourself? Among those young men in seminary, a high percentage attribute their presence there to someone speaking to them about the possibility of them become priests. That was the first seed that was sown. If the invitation of someone else to consider the possibility has persisted in your thoughts, don’t ignore them. Find someone you can trust, perhaps another priest, and share with him your feelings. And when you do, fear falls away and courage replaces it.
These signs may bring the possibility of a vocation into sharper focus. To sum up what these signs are – if you desire to be a priest; feel an attraction to the person and message of Jesus Christ; if you love the Church; if you love people; if you love prayer; if someone has mentioned the possibility of a vocation and it struck a chord. Six signs that the Lord might be calling you. Be open and do not be afraid!
USEFUL YOUTUBE VIDEOS ON VOCATIONS:
In the video above, Bishop Raul Dael of the diocese of Tandag in the Philippines addressed his priests at this year’s Chrism Mass with a passionate plea to heroic service at a challenging time: “The purest part of the life and ministry of a priest will come out in times of difficulties, in times of trials, in times of crises.”
In another video from the Philippines, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan asks the question ‘Are you broken enough, weak enough, to be a priest?’
In this video, popular American priest, Fr Mike Schmitz poses the question we all ask: “What should I do with my life?” It’s a question on many hearts, maybe even our own. In this video, Father Mike Schmitz gives some direction that can lead to an answer for ourselves or someone we know. He shares how a vocation is more than just figuring out whether we’re called to married life or religious life, and it’s about more than just finding out what we like to do. As he breaks down three different types of vocation we all have, he draws a practical path we can follow to pursue holiness.
I Will Follow—Two Priests' Vocation Stories
Sisters who have followed the path of religious life: ‘We have found the greatest joy, which is Christ Himself. We want to share with you our journey as we answer God's call to religious life. We invite you to place all of your trust in the God who loves you without measure’. "Happy the one who trusts in the Lord." Proverbs 16:20