The Bishops of England and Wales met with seminarians and staff from across the country at Walsingham on Saturday 14 September. The meeting followed similar meetings in 2010 at Oscott College during the Pope's State Visit to the UK and on the anniversary of that visit in 2011 at Westminster Cathedral.
News in Priests
There is something wonderfully implausible about the priesthood, something radical and even revolutionary. God bless the men who follow their calling to lead us all to something higher and more spectacular than the rest of the world can offer.
Cardinal O'Brien was told to leave Scotland by the Vatican following his resignation. "There would be a number of reasons for that, and looking around myself I think it would probably be wiser and more helpful for the future of the Church here if he were not to be back in the country."
The vocations director of Southwark Diocese has established a Vocations Missions Team for would-be seminarians in an effort to support their discernment and prevent them from being “John Boscos by day and John Travoltas by night”.
Two twin brothers in Chile say that their mother’s determination in protecting them from abortion despite the advice of doctors helped to foster their vocations to the priesthood. “How can I not defend the God of life?” said Fr. Paulo Lizama.
“Now ... you are to be raised to the Order of the Priesthood. For your part you will exercise the sacred duty of teaching in the name of Christ the Teacher. Impart to everyone the Word of God which you have received with joy. Remember your mothers, your grandmothers, your catechists, who gave you the Word of God, the faith ... the gift of faith!
Dear young people, do not be afraid to follow him and to walk the demanding and courageous paths of charity and generous commitment! In that way you will be happy to serve, you will be witnesses of a joy that the world cannot give, you will be living flames of an infinite and eternal love, you will learn to "give an account of the hope that is within you" (1 Pt 3:15)!
While there is no conclusive proof, there is evidence to suggest that women may indeed have acted as leaders in ancient Christianity.
On Sunday, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Benedict XVI asked families, communities and local parishes to help young men in discerning their vocation to the priesthood. “In particular, families are the first environment into which ‘breathes’ the love of God, which gives inner strength even in the midst of the difficulties and trials of life.”
A priest from the Diocese of Salford has spoken passionately about the importance of developing “recovery communities” at an event to mark the launch of a pioneering project. Fr James McCartney, chief executive of the Blackburn-based charity THOMAS, talked about the challenge of turning people away from “the chaos of addiction” during a keynote speech to statutory and voluntary sector organisations.
Priests in general are among the happiest members of society, says Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, and contrary to secular opinion, most embrace celibacy as a positive aspect of their vocation. These were some of the conclusions outlined by Monsignor Rossetti in his book, "Why Priests Are Happy"
It's a difficult job at the best of times, with training longer than that for doctors, long hours and minimal pay. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Church says it is seeing a small increase in the number of men prepared to forego family life and dedicate themselves to God.