Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life.
Pope Francis said recently: “Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone.” That someone could a grandparent, parent, teacher, aunt or uncle, friend or sick parisioner, indeed any parishioner.
Such prayer in not necessarily long in words but should be persistent over time. To assist your prayer there are prayer cards available as you leave church where a five day prayer booklet available also. But please, only take one if you are determined to pray them.
Lord, Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of our souls,
You who know Your sheep and
know how to reach the human heart.
Stir the hearts of those people
who would follow You
but who cannot overcome doubts and fears.
You who are the Word of the Father,
the Word which enlightens and sustains hearts,
conquer with Your Spirit the resistance and
delays of indecisive hearts.
Awaken in those whom You call the
courage of love’s answer: ‘Here I am, send me.’
A final word from Pope Francis: “I wish to state this clearly to the young, whose youth and openness to the future makes them open-hearted and generous. At times uncertainty, worries about the future and the problems you daily encounter can risk paralyzing your youthful enthusiasm and shattering your dreams, to the point where you can think that it is not worth the effort to get involved, that the God of the Christian faith is somehow a limit on your freedom. Dear young friends, never be afraid to go out from yourselves and begin the journey! The Gospel is the message which brings freedom to our lives; it transforms them and makes them all the more beautiful. How wonderful it is to be surprised by God’s call, to embrace his word, and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, in adoration of the divine mystery and in generous service to our neighbours! Your life will become richer and more joyful each day!
Today in Clitheroe there is a traditional benediction at 2pm during which we shall pray for vocations.
After Mass there is a retiring collection to finance the training of priests, men like Fr Frankie.