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Upturn in Vocations to Priesthood and Religious Life in England and Wales continues

On May 21st 2014 Vatican Radio reported that the Catholic Church in England and Wales is experiencing a significant upturn in the numbers of vocations  over the past decade continues.

Figures released from the National Office for Vocations in the UK for the year 2013 showed that nearly  100 men and women entering  convents, seminaries and religious houses across the country.

Vatican Radio asked Fr Christopher Jamison, Director of the Catholic Church's National Office for Vocation what is attracting more men and women nowadays to embrace a religious vocation over the past decade  after several earlier years of sharp decline?

Father Jamison said  it's difficult to put a finger on the precise reason for this continuing upturn but believes  much has to do with a different approach being adopted by Vocations Directors across the country.   "We've moved from recruitment to discernment as the model of what we're doing"  (to foster vocations).  Father Jamison said many groups have been set up nationwide which young people can attend to facilitate the discernment of vocations and provide "help" to them in discussing God's call to them, saying they have proved "very popular."

Asked if there are other wider factors that help explain this upturn such as societal influences, Father Jamison said he believes Pope Benedict's successful visit to England in 2010 played a part.  This visit, he said, "led to young people in Britain feeling much more confidently Catholic."


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