Last Sunday was the Good Shepherd Sunday, or the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The second collection taken supports the education and formation of our seminarians. We have nine seminarians in formation for our diocese at this time. At the Beda in Rome we have the Rev. Deacon Tony Grant who is to be ordained a priest in the summer. At Oscott College in Birmingham we have the Rev. Deacon Michael Barwick who is also to be ordained in the summer. Also at Oscott are Alexander Johnson, Jonathan Burden, Frank Westcott and Alex Wyndham. At Allen Hall in Westminster we have Damien Wade who is to be ordained deacon this year and also at Allen Hall are Matúš Meleg and Moses Itene. Please pray for them all today and in the future.
Please use the special prayer card below to help you pray for vocations and think about having a mass said for vocations if you would like to. Ask your parish priest to do this.
On the Fourth Sunday of Easter, the Church focuses our attention on Jesus, the Good Shepherd. The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is one of the most beloved images of Our Lord in the New Testament. Jesus is the Good Shepherd because he lays down his life for his sheep; Jesus is the Good Shepherd because he knows each of his sheep by name. And those who belong to his flock hear his voice and follow him.
On Good Shepherd Sunday the Church summons us to pray that the Good Shepherd will send others to pastor and watch over his flock. And so it is a day of prayer for vocations: vocations to the priesthood and vocations to religious life. The Church invites us to pray that the Lord of the Harvest will call young men and women to dedicate their lives to spreading the Gospel as priests and religious.
Do you know a young man who might be a good priest? If so, invite him to consider exploring the possibility of becoming a priest. It is not that young people are uninterested in dedicating their lives to God. I have met many who are. But they have never been invited to consider the possibility of doing so. But what if you reached out to them and suggested the possibility? What if you planted the seed that might lead to a vocation to priesthood or religious life?
If you are a young person reading this, ask yourself what you want to do with the precious gift of life that God has given you. How do you want to live the rest of your life? What is really and truly important to you? Do you have a deep love for Christ and the Church? Do you have a passion to proclaim the good news of the gospel to others? Are you interested in a life of serving others for the sake of the gospel? If so, being a priest or a religious sister may be a way in which you can fulfil your deepest desires. For when all is said and done, our deepest desire is for God, and it is only when we satisfy this desire that we will be truly fulfilled.
Please pray for the priest and religious who have served you throughout your life. Encourage your children and grandchildren and other young people to consider if God is calling them to a life of priestly or religious service. Pray that God will give the Church faithful priests and religious who will give of themselves generously and tirelessly for the sake of the gospel.
Evening meetings for enquirers to the priesthood take place every month in the diocese. If you feel that you may have a calling, please contact Vocations Promoter Fr Mark Swires: firstname.lastname@example.org