This weekend is Good Shepherd Sunday and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, where the church takes the opportunity to pray in a special way for vocations to the priesthood and religious Life. The Church teaches that there are 4 vocations – Priesthood, Religious life, Marriage and Consecrated Life – and so it is important to pray for those that have not yet found their vocation and true calling in life. But it is with a heightened emphasis that this Good Shepherd Sunday is seen as a great opportunity to pray and promote vocations for the priesthood and religious life. Currently within the Salford Diocese we have 7 students training to be Priests, two of them will be Ordained this July 18th at Salford Cathedral, they are Alfred Rebello (a former solicitor) and Laurence Gambella (a former R.E. teacher). Please keep them in your prayers along with our other Salford students in Seminary formation, Gavin Landers, Callum Brown at St Mary’s College, Oscott; Michael Deas and Richard Howard at the Venerable English College, Rome; and Kevin Murphy at the Beda College, Rome.
The national director for vocations Fr Christopher Jamison OSB, encourages us to help nurture vocations by becoming a culture of vocation. He talks about how God has a way of inviting us to answer our own prayers. For example if I pray for the housebound, God might put into my mind an elderly lady who lives a few doors down from me who is housebound and would really appreciate a visit. The same is true of today’s intention, as parishes pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life God may invite people to consider what they can do to further develop the culture of vocation in their Parish. A culture of vocation involves talking about all vocations throughout the year and offering active support to people as they seek to discover God’s will in their life. There are a growing number of ways that this service is being offered by dioceses, parishes and colleges, for more information please go to www.ukvocation.org/discernment-groups
Finally I leave you with words of encouragement from Pope Francis on this matter “Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father or a community. Vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit.”
“God calls each of us to be holy, to live his life, but he has a particular path for each one of us.