A recent article to Kete Korero, the magazine for the Diocese of Hamilton.
During the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI wants the Church to ‘rediscover the faith.’ Alongside rediscovering the faith, encouraging and fostering vocations, particularly to the Diocesan Priesthood, also takes prominence. Promotion of vocations belongs to the whole Church and is the responsibility of all the faithful.
A vocation is a mystery. It is the wonderful work of God, working in the lives of people, speaking to the core of their being and calling them to do something extra ordinary. This is the work that God has planned for them to do.
From the 14th to the 16th of December 2012 the annual retreat for men 18 years and older, wishing to discern a vocation to the priesthood will be held at Ngakuru, the Tyburn Monastery. This is a wonderful opportunity to get away from the busyness of our lives and spend time in prayer, in silence, in adoration, listening to talks, meeting some of our seminarians and mixing with men who too are discovering what the Lord’s special plan is for them.
Another wonderful opportunity is ‘Hearts Aflame’ held at the beginning of January in Marton. This is a gathering of young adults single and married, who receive teaching and formation in the Catholic faith. This for many young people has been a turning point in their lives, where they have committed themselves to Christ and the Church. www.heartsaflame.org.nz
We can all do our part in planting seeds, by encouraging men to explore the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. Many priestly vocations have grown from a tap on the shoulder, an encouraging word or a question to a man who you see has the qualities of a vocation to the priesthood.
Crucial to promoting vocations is prayer. Vocational work is very much the work of the Holy Spirit. We can all pray to the ‘Lord of the harvest’ that he will continue to call men and women to serve the Church through the Priesthood or in religious life in our diocese. “The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, pray the Lord of the harvest will send out labourers into his harvest.” (Mt. 9:38) In every age Christ commands us to pray for more vocations. An essential part of our prayer is praying for the family, the seed bed for vocations and the first seminary. As we continue to pray for more vocations to the priesthood in the words from the Roman Missal, the Collect ‘For Vocations to Holy Orders,’ “…raise up worthy ministers of your altars and make them ardent yet gentle heralds of your Gospel.”
Acting Vocations Director
Fr Eamon Kennedy
St George’s Catholic Church
24 Seddon Street
Te Kuiti 3941
ph. 07 878 6417 or text. 021 616 950