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A CALL TO SERVE
Today we pray for an increase to vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It is common knowledge that the number of priests is dramatically declining in Ireland to that of even 10 years ago. Yet we must never stop to pray constantly that many more will hear the call of God in their lives, to come and serve His people in so many ways.
In our diocese, we have one student, Shane O’Neill who was with us this year, and please God, will be ordained in 2015.
Yet Vocations is all our vocation. While the church is ever renewed and changing, it is important we all offer our talents to serve each other, and ultimately God.
Deep and constant prayer brings about growth in the faith of the Christian community, in the unceasingly renewed certainty that God never abandons his people and that he sustains them by raising up particular vocations – to the priesthood and the consecrated life – so that they can be signs of hope for the world. Indeed, priests and religious are called to give themselves unconditionally to the People of God, in a service of love for the Gospel and the Church, serving that firm hope which can only come from an openness to the divine. By means of the witness of their faith and apostolic zeal, therefore, they can transmit, especially to the younger generations, a strong desire to respond generously and promptly to Christ who calls them to follow him more closely. Whenever a disciple of Jesus accepts the divine call to dedicate himself to the priestly ministry or to the consecrated life, we witness one of the most mature fruits of the Christian community, which helps us to look with particular trust and hope to the future of the Church and to her commitment to evangelization. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for Vocations Sunday 21 April 2013