When someone is exploring their vocation in life there are so many things to consider as God is continually speaking to us in the core of our being, in silent whispers. We can ignore the whispers or explore the possibility of what is being presented to us -Priesthood for men, religious life or marriage. A vocation is never absolutely certain. Is it God’s will or our own? What does God really want us to be and how does he want us to serve him in a particular vocation, for the building up of the Kingdom of God?
Good Shepherd Sunday is the Sunday when we pray particularly for Priestly Vocations and reflect on the call to the Priesthood.
Men discerning a vocation have to consider many possibilities and also where the Church is heading. For example, what is the future for Religious Life in New Zealand? I once wanted to become a Benedictine or something similar. Sometimes the habit of the Dominicans or their founder is very attractive. We have to wonder where Religious Life in New Zealand is heading as once upon a time our Catholic schools were full of teaching sisters but sadly not anymore.
Unfortunately, the reality is that many Religious groups have not had vocations in the last twenty-five years and their future is uncertain. We do not have to be a prophet to know where the Church in New Zealand is heading.
It is good to observe what is happening. Our congregations are going to be full of immigrants who are already an established part of the Church. Ecclesial movements will grow and one of these is the Consecrated Women, who are already creating great interest among young women. These women are consecrated to God but continue to work in their lay state.
The Diocesan Priesthood will hopefully continue with many kiwi born vocations supported by Priests from overseas.
God’s hand is at work guiding us gently in the direction he wants for us, as he asks us to continue to pray for more vocations. “For the harvest in rich but the labourers are few.”
Kind regards and God bless
Fr. Eamon Kennedy
10th May 2014