I have been spending a little time today preparing for this consultation process. I hope that as many parishioners as possible will participate in the consultation evenings which will take place in our church hall on 15th, 22nd and 29th March at 7.30pm. Since anyone checking this blog will be computer-literate, there is little point in me repeating here the contents of the Archbishop's paper. Full details can be found here
Of course, a key factor for the future of the diocese is the number of priests. On the face of it, these are projected to fall as older clergy retire or die. So we might have a lean period. But God can provide in many ways. The diocese has a very pro-active Vocations promotion programme directed by Father Stephen Langridge. Click here to visit his blog
. In addition, with the increasing cultural diversity of the diocese, priests from the ethnic communities represented here could provide a valuable contribution to the life of the diocese. As the Archbishop says in his paper, they manifest the catholicity of the Church and could provide models for young men from those communities who may consider responding to a call to serve God as a priest.
We all have a duty to pray for vocations and promote them in whatever way we can. I would ask all parents to consider the following:
- promote a positive attitude amongst your children, particular your sons, towards the mission and vocation of the priest
- encourage your sons to consider if God might be calling them
- pray that God might bless your family with such a wonderful calling
- consider having more children!!! (if you are able). Then there is more of a chance that some will be able to respond, and it will be less of a sacrifice for you when a son responds to a calling. One of the principal purposes of matrimony is the increase of the human family and the increase of the family of God, i.e. to co-operate with God in increasing the numbers of Christ's faithful in the Church. Naturally this involves a sacrifice, but God rewards sacrifices with great blessings.
And I'd ask all parishioners to support the monthly hours of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which are dedicated to prayer for vocations. These are posted on the parish noticeboard, but for your convenience I list them here. They commence at 9am on the following Saturdays: 17th March, 21st April, 19th May, 9th June.
And to all who read this I commend the parish, the process and vocations to your prayers.