Vocations in Focus

On Sunday April 29, the church is celebrating World Day of Prayer for Vocations with the theme Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God

In his message, Pope Benedict XVI stated, “It is in this soil of self-offering and openness to the love of God, and as the fruit of that love, that all vocations are born and grow.  By drawing from this wellspring through prayer, constant recourse to God’s word and to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, it becomes possible to live a life of love for our neighbours, in whom we come to perceive the face of Christ the Lord (cf. Mt 25:31-46).”

Later this year CORI and Vocations Ireland will be present at the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) with a workshop / celebration in speech and music. 

Consecrated Life: Life Joyfully Shared is the theme of the workshop on Wednesday, June 13 at 11:30am – 12:30pm.  It is led by Passionist, Fr. Chris Monaghan C.P. Melbourne, Australia, who is involved in the Yarra Theological Union.  His major focus throughout the years has been Matthew, Luke, Acts and the letters of Paul. 

He has been engaged in adult education programs through schools, parishes and ministry to priests.  Making the bible in its richness accessible to people at all levels is his enduring passion.

A special web feature for Vocations Sunday is currently available on the Irish bishops’ website (www.catholicbishops.ie).  It includes a video interview with Father Willie Purcell (pictured) (Diocese of Ossory) about vocations in Ireland, his own vocation as a gift and about the plans of the vocations directors for this year’s IEC (www.iec2012.ie).

Preparations are well underway to highlight vocations to diocesan priesthood at the forthcoming IEC.  Banners, flyers, posters, and displays are being designed to draw attention to the need for more young people to give themselves in the service of Christ through the diocesan priesthood.  Diocesan priests are very much at the heart of the Church’s mission of communion, stated the Vocations Leadership team, which has taken the theme of the Eucharistic Congress and have highlighted the fact the diocesan priesthood is very much prayer at the heart of the community.

University Church, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, has been designated by the Eucharistic Congress as the Church set aside to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  During the week of the Congress, Mass will be celebrated each day for vocations to the priesthood. 

There will be other events and prayer sessions taking place in this church.  A full list of events will be posted closer to the Congress in June.

Speaking ahead of Vocations Sunday on the Bishops website Father Purcell said, “People are searching for hope and a deeper meaning to life.  People are looking for direction in life and are beginning to realise that the overly commercialised world of the so-called Celtic Tiger did not bring satisfaction or peace to their lives.  People still look to the priest for strength in times of weakness, courage in times of despair and hope in times of desperation.  People still believe in their priests, this belief is coming from the commitment and dedication they see on the ground in their parishes, schools, hospitals, universities and community life.  The priest is there for his people twenty-four hours a day.”

On the Vocations Ireland website, there are comprehensive details of forthcoming discerning weekends, prayers and information on vocations and the various religious communities.  (www.vocationsireland.com).

by Ann Marie Foley



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