Weekly Vocations Posts for Parishes

Weekly Vocations Posts for Parishes

With 0 Comments, Category: Discerning Priesthood, News and Events, Planting seeds, Vocations, Vocations Campaigns,

Bulletin and Website Notices for Vocations

First Sunday of Advent 2018 to Pentecost Sunday 2019

As part of desire to promote a culture of vocations, we offer some short reflections for each Sunday and major feast day over the year.  Taking as their starting point the day's Scripture readings, in particular the Gospel of Luke which guides us through this Liturgical Year, they offer a reflection question for anyone who might be thinking, however loosely, of the possibility that God might be calling them to priesthood or religious life.  Indeed, they may also be relevant for anyone considering any kind of vocation in the Church priesthood, whether diocesan, religious or missionary, consecrated life, or diaconate.

Please feel free to copy and paste these brief reflections into your weekly parish newsletter or other publications. You may want to copy and paste them onto your parish website as a banner message or news item, to place a link to the page as a whole from your website, or to use them as Facebook posts on or around the relevant Sunday.

(Note: Some of the texts may be a little long to serve as Twitter posts, but they can be edited by removing the email contact and some of the repeated contact information as desired.)

 

Below are the first two suggested posts.  The rest can be found here.

First Sunday of Advent – December 2nd 2018

“We urge you... to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants.” If you think the life God wants you to live might be life as a priest, deacon, sister or brother, to help God's people make progress in their lives of faith, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk. See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk or visit our Facebook page.

Second Sunday of Advent -- December 9th 2018

"In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign… the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah in the wilderness." Could God's word be calling to you in our time, in your life, to be his messenger? If you feel you may be called to the priesthood or religious life, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk.  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk or visit our Facebook page.

Click here for the page where you will find all the prompts for Sundays and feasts through Advent, Christmas and the first weeks of 2019 and up to Pentecost Sunday.

More "prompts" for the rest of 2019 will be posted in due course.


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Vocations Awareness Week 2018

Vocations Awareness Week 2018

With 0 Comments, Category: Discerning Priesthood, Featured, News and Events, Planting seeds, Preparing for Seminary, Vocations, Vocations Campaigns, Vocations Library,

Every year, the Church in Scotland sets aside a week in which we are all asked to reflect on our vocation within the Christian family, a vocation which flows from our shared Baptismal vocation to grow in holiness and in service of others. In particular, we are asked:

  • to pray for a renewed and strengthened sense of vocation among all God's People;
  • to consider what my own vocation is in life and how I might be responding to the call that God has made to me;
  • to pray for a generous response in the hearts of those called to serve the Church in priesthood, consecrated life and diaconate;
  • to consider - in a way which is appropriate to my own stage and situation in life - whether I might not actually be one of those called to be a priest, a religious or a deacon;
  • to encourage someone, whom I think might be showing the signs that they have such a vocation, to consider discerning or pursuing such a call;
  • to pray for and offer support and encouragement to our priests, the religious women and men who serve in our communities, the deacons who serve our parishes and dioceses and our seminarians and others in formation or discernment of their vocation in the Church.

 

For 2018, we offer some reflection on the Vocations Stories of six individuals whose lives have had a great impact on the Church of today. Two are still alive, three are now canonised as saints of the Church and one is considered "Blessed". Three are men; three are women. Some lived (or still live on!) to a fine old age; one or two died young. Some are household names; some are less well known. All have something to say to us about faith, about trust in God, about service and about vocation.

Click here for more and to access the resources available for schools and youth groups… 


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Newsletter – Issue 2 available

Newsletter – Issue 2 available

With 0 Comments, Category: Discerning Priesthood, News and Events, Planting seeds, Preparing for Seminary, Resources and Publications, Vocations, Vocations Campaigns,

To coincide with Vocations Awareness Week around Scotland, a second edition of our newsletter has been sent to parishes and schools.

This edition focuses on the stories and personalities of some of the new priests ordained around Scotland this year, a year which has seen what some have referred to as a "twenty-year high" in numbers of ordinations.  Likewise, 2017 has seen a number of new religious professions and young people exploring religious life as a real option for them.  As a final cause of joy and thanksgiving to God, it seems likely that this year also will see the highest number of applicants to seminary, to begin formation for priesthood, that we have seen for a decade or more.  G0d's grace is at work; the call is being heard. Please pray for all those considering and entering into priestly or religious formation and for all the new priests who will begin their service in our parishes over these months.

To download the Newsletter, click here or on the image below.


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PFS Magazine – Issue One now available

PFS Magazine – Issue One now available

With 0 Comments, Category: Discerning Priesthood, News and Events, Planting seeds, Resources and Publications, Vocations, Vocations Campaigns,

Priests for Scotland has issued for parishes, schools and those interested in priesthood and in vocations to priesthood, the first issue of a free magazine.  This edition has short pieces from seminarians studying to become priests from around Scotland as well as an insight from one of Scotland's newest priests, Fr Matthew Carlin of Paisley Diocese, ordained in the summer of 2016.

Over the course of a year we hope to produce a number of these short newsletters, to help promote the importance of priesthood, to look at the work priests do around the country and to issue the invitation to consider a vocation to priesthood.  Over the next few months, Vocations Directors in our dioceses will be inviting and meeting with men considering this possibility, to help them discern whether God might be calling them to serve his People as priests.  (Click here for contact details for the Vocations Director in your area.)

You can download the Magazine, issue 1, by clicking here or on the image below.


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Posting the Invitation

Posting the Invitation

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Each Sunday, we hear the Word of God in the readings at Mass.  But do we really listen?

Do we notice the call to follow Christ which gently echoes in every text?  Do we hear the "still, small voice", the "gentle breeze", which brought Elijah to the mouth of a cave, ready to go on his journey as prophet of God? Do we even think God is speaking to us when we hear his word?

As part of our shared task of Vocations Promotion, Priests for Scotland invites parishes to keep before its people the idea that some of its members might be being called to serve the Church as priests, deacons or religious. To this end, and as a help for busy parish priests, we have published here some brief notes, drawn from the Sunday readings for Ordinary Time as well as the major liturgical seasons, which can be used in the weekly parish newsletter or Bulletin, cut and pasted for use on parish websites or Facebook pages, or adapted for tweeting.

Let's work together to "pay out the nets", to let the Lord's voice be heard!

Click here for more.


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Advent and Christmas Vocations Prompts

Advent and Christmas Vocations Prompts

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Each Sunday in Advent, and throughout the Christmas season, Priests for Scotland is publishing via our Facebook page little vocations "prompts" to help those who might be thinking about a priestly vocation to use this sacred time to consider the possibility guided by the weekly Scriptures.

 

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Advent is a season in the Church's life which of its nature looks to the future - yes, to the coming of Christ as a child at Christmas, but also beyond that to his coming in glory at the end of time.  What better time is there in the Church's liturgical calendar to think about our own futures too, about what God is asking of us, about how we might respond, and about the direction of our lives in light of our faith.

Could that future involve a life of priestly service for you, a member of your family, or someone you know?

In the middle weeks of Advent we encounter the person of John the Baptist.  He was called "from his mother's womb" (Luke 1:15) to be a herald of Christ, to call people to repent and return to God's ways.  He was called to be a prophet, to be a messenger, to be a witness to God's action in the sight of the people.  In the middle weeks of Advent we hear him fulfilling that vocation, as he "prepares a way for the Lord", as he becomes the voice "crying in the wilderness" (Matthew 3:3).

And so, our little "prompts" invite those who think God might just be calling them to be priests in Scotland today - to be messengers of the Gospel, heralds of Christ, witnesses to God's merciful and saving action in the world - to ask God to guide them to know his will, to hear his voice, and, perhaps, to look to their future as priests to serve God's people.

Pray for all who are thinking they might be so called...


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Misericordia et Misera

Misericordia et Misera

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On Monday 21st November 2016, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera following the closure of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on the Solemnity of Christ the King.  In the Letter, he outlines some of his reflections on the impact of the Jubilee Year and his hopes for its ongoing legacy in the Church.  While some specific aspects of it have been widely reported in the press, it is well worth reading in its entirety, in order to join the Holy Father in his hope that "the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open" long after the "Mercy Doors" have closed in Cathedrals and churches across the world.

To read the Apostolic Letter in full, click the title here: Misericordia et Misera.

Below are a few highlights from the document in which Pope Francis makes explicit reference to the life and ministry of priests:

In the liturgy, mercy is not only repeatedly implored, but is truly received and experienced. From the beginning to the end of the Eucharistic celebration, mercy constantly appears in the dialogue between the assembly at prayer and the heart of the Father, who rejoices to bestow his merciful love...  In a word, each moment of the Eucharistic celebration refers to God’s mercy. (par. 5)

I strongly encourage that great care be given to preparing the homily and to preaching in general. A priest’s preaching will be fruitful to the extent that he himself has experienced the merciful goodness of the Lord. Communicating the certainty that God loves us is not an exercise in rhetoric, but a condition for the credibility of one’s priesthood. (par. 6)

I greatly desire that God’s word be increasingly celebrated, known and disseminated, so that the mystery of love streaming from this font of mercy may be ever better understood... It would be beneficial if every Christian community, on one Sunday of the liturgical year, could renew its efforts to make the Sacred Scriptures better known and more widely diffused. It would be a Sunday given over entirely to the word of God, so as to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant dialogue between the Lord and his people. Creative initiatives can help make this an opportunity for the faithful to become living vessels for the transmission of God’s word. Initiatives of this sort would certainly include the practice of lectio divina, so that the prayerful reading of the sacred text will help support and strengthen the spiritual life. (par. 7)

I invite priests once more to prepare carefully for the ministry of confession, which is a true priestly mission. I thank all of you from the heart for your ministry, and I ask you to be welcoming to all, witnesses of fatherly love whatever the gravity of the sin involved, attentive in helping penitents to reflect on the evil they have done, clear in presenting moral principles, willing to walk patiently beside the faithful on their penitential journey, far-sighted in discerning individual cases and generous in dispensing God’s forgiveness. (par. 10)

We confessors have experienced many conversions that took place before our very eyes. We feel responsible, then, for actions and words that can touch the heart of penitents and enable them to discover the closeness and tenderness of the Father who forgives. Let us not lose such occasions by acting in a way that can contradict the experience of mercy that the penitent seeks... (par. 11)

The Sacrament of Reconciliation must regain its central place in the Christian life. This requires priests capable of putting their lives at the service of the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18), in such a way that, while no sincerely repentant sinner is prevented from drawing near to the love of the Father who awaits his return, everyone is afforded the opportunity of experiencing the liberating power of forgiveness. A favourable occasion for this could be the 24 Hours for the Lord, a celebration held in proximity to the Fourth Sunday of Lent. (par. 11)

I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion. The provision I had made in this regard, limited to the duration of the Extraordinary Holy Year, is hereby extended, notwithstanding anything to the contrary. I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life. In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father. May every priest, therefore, be a guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation. (par. 12)

In all religions, the moment of death, like that of birth, is accompanied by a religious presence. As Christians, we celebrate the funeral liturgy as a hope-filled prayer for the soul of the deceased and for the consolation of those who suffer the loss of a loved one. I am convinced that our faith-filled pastoral activity should lead to a direct experience of how the liturgical signs and our prayers are an expression of the Lord’s mercy.  It is the Lord himself who offers words of hope, since nothing and no one can ever separate us from his love (cf. Rom 8:35).  The priest’s sharing in this moment is an important form of pastoral care, for it represents the closeness of the Christian community at a moment of weakness, solitude, uncertainty and grief. (par. 15)

We are called to promote a culture of mercy based on the rediscovery of encounter with others, a culture in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sisters. The works of mercy are “handcrafted”, in the sense that none of them is alike. Our hands can craft them in a thousand different ways, and even though the one God inspires them, and they are all fashioned from the same “material”, mercy itself, each one takes on a different form. (par. 20)

I had the idea that, as yet another tangible sign of this Extraordinary Holy Year, the entire Church might celebrate, on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, the World Day of the Poor. This would be the worthiest way to prepare for the celebration of the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, who identified with the little ones and the poor and who will judge us on our works of mercy (cf. Mt 25:31-46). It would be a day to help communities and each of the baptized to reflect on how poverty is at the very heart of the Gospel and that, as long as Lazarus lies at the door of our homes (cf. Lk 16:19-21), there can be no justice or social peace. This Day will also represent a genuine form of new evangelization (cf. Mt 11:5) which can renew the face of the Church as She perseveres in her perennial activity of pastoral conversion and witness to mercy. (par. 21)

As Pope Francis exhorts us: "Now is the time to unleash the creativity of mercy, to bring about new undertakings, the fruit of grace." (par. 18)  He makes no secret of the fact that he sees the ministry of priests as crucial to opening these gifts of God's mercy for God's people.  "This is the time of mercy."  May our reflections on the Jubilee Year now ended and on the mercy of God we experience, celebrate and share every day in priestly ministry renew us and open us to a new joy in service of the Church and of those whose lives we touch with the compassion, consolation and forgiveness of God.

yearofmercy2

 


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Decade a Day

Decade a Day

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During the month of October – a time when Catholics often take up the prayer of the Rosary with greater devotion – Priests for Scotland invited friends to offer up one decade of the Rosary each day with the intention of praying for Vocations to the Priesthood.

In this, we were led in prayer by pupils of St Peter the Apostle Secondary in Clydebank, near Glasgow.

Go to our Facebook page to find out more, and to join with the pupils as they pray (via video) and reflect on the mysteries of the Rosary in prayer for priestly and religious vocations.


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Seminary Applicants’ Weekends

Seminary Applicants’ Weekends

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The process for application to study for priesthood in Scotland has a number of elements.

First, there is a process of discernment carried out in conversation with the Diocesan Vocations Director (click here for contact details).

When the enquirer is ready, and at the recommendation of the Vocations Director, the formal application to the Bishop is prepared and submitted.  This process is facilitated and coordinated nationally via Priests for Scotland.  Application forms are available only through Vocations Directors from Priests for Scotland.

As part of the Application process, there are weekend retreat and reflection gatherings for all applicants.

For the dates for the Process in 2018 (for entry into seminary in 2019) click herePlease note that this page is password protected for access by Applicants and Vocations Directors only


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Vocations Awareness Week – Bishop’s Reflection

Vocations Awareness Week – Bishop’s Reflection

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This Sunday we begin our celebration of Vocations Awareness Week in Scotland – a time when we are encouraged to pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life.

Both within and outwith the Catholic community, people often wonder what a life of service in the Church actually entails. What does it mean to be a priest, deacon or religious sister in contemporary Scotland?  What is involved in serving the Church in the face of rising secularism and seemingly widespread religious indifference? A powerful response is encountered in this weekend’s Gospel.  Through the use of three parables, Jesus offers us a perfect template of ministry – that ministry is to seek out that which is lost.

094be8cGetting or being lost is a common experience. At one time or another, we have all been there……. lost in airports or in train stations or on the way home from a night out. We have panicked when we’ve realised we’ve taken the wrong turn or that the sat-nav isn’t working or that our surroundings aren’t very familiar.

But in the Scriptures and in the tradition of the Church, ‘being lost’ isn’t just about being in the wrong place – it’s not simply an issue of geographic dislocation – rather it’s about becoming disconnected from God,  disconnected from the family of faith and disengaged from who we really are and who we are called to be.

In our communities there are so many who find themselves spiritually ‘lost’. We think of so many of our young people ‘lost’ in an arid and desolate cultural landscape.  We think of those who are lost in the worlds of addiction – where everything is hurting and nothing has meaning. We think of those who have been forgotten by the world and ‘lost’ in a sea of societal indifference and apathy – the poor, the elderly and the unborn. We think of those who have wandered far from the faith – ‘lost’ in the frenetic busyness of everyday life.

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Our Priests, deacons and religious are called and chosen to find all of the ‘lost’  – they are challenged  to be the good shepherd, to be the woman who will not rest until she has found that missing drachma and to be the Father who’s heart is restless until his prodigal Son has returned. They are called, to bring the ‘lost’ to the House of Our Heavenly Father where there is always hope, light and love.

Wherever there is human need and wherever there is human suffering whether in Scotland or abroad you will always encounter the Catholic Church – offering comfort, restoring hope and ‘finding’ what is true, beautiful and good in human life.

This week pray for more vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious life. Encourage all those who are engaged in ministry in your community and finally, discern whether you could be called to the Priesthood, Diaconate or religious life.

Bishop John Keenan


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Vocations Awareness Week 2016

Vocations Awareness Week 2016

With 0 Comments, Category: News and Events, Planting seeds, Vocations, Vocations Campaigns,

As in past years, for 2016 Priests for Scotland is making available materials for schools and parishes to help our communities reflect on the idea of Vocation.

First of all, each one of us has a common vocation - or calling - to follow Jesus. This comes from our commitment as baptised people, to listen to Christ, to follow his ways and his teaching, and to live as faithful members of his Body, the Church, sharing with others our life, our faith and our love.

We each have a personal call too, however.  For many, this might include a call to family life, marriage and parenthood, for others a life dedicated to prayer or ministry in consecrated life or permanent diaconate, to a religious congregation or in a more personal consecration. For others, their vocation to love and serve might be lived out in their line of work - to teach the young, to care for the sick, to support the needs of a community in various ways, to offer their talents in creativity or the arts to beautify our lives and our environment, to serve in public life, etc.

Vocations Awareness Week invites us all to consider our own vocation, and how we are living it, or perhaps even to reflect on what our vocation in life might be. It invites us to take some time to ask: To what is God calling me? How is he inviting me to serve his People or our world more generally?  And what do I do to help or support others in finding their vocation in life?

For some, however, that personal vocation is a call to follow Jesus and to serve his Body, the Church, as priests.

For that reason, Vocations Awareness Week is also our opportunity to invite some to consider priesthood as a life to which the Lord might be calling them.  Out of all the possibilities to which God might be calling me, could priesthood be the one I need to consider more deeply?

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Below are materials which can be downloaded for use in parishes - either for use on the Sundays at either end of Vocations Awareness Week or for prayer and reflection at daily Mass or as part of a prayer group or other parish group meetings taking place during the week.

A Word document format can be downloaded by clicking here .

A PDF version can be downloaded by clicking here.   

Please feel free to use the materials as you wish.

Materials for schools can be accessed here.

A reflection by Bishop John Keenan of Paisley for Sunday 11th September can be accessed here.

"God calls you to make definitive choices

and he has a plan for each of you:

to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation

is to move toward personal fulfilment."

(Pope Francis, World Youth Day, Rio de Janeiro 2013)


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Propaedeutic Seminary Course

Propaedeutic Seminary Course

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What does "propaedeutic" mean?

In short, "propaedeutic" is a technical word in the Church for "preparatory".  However, we don't simply use the word "Preparatory" as that might suggest that such a course is not really part of formation for priesthood, or is somehow not that important.  Rather, we want to suggest that those who are undertaking this course while, certainly, "preparing" for the full seminary course of philosophy and theology studies which lies ahead, are at the same time already engaged in formation for priesthood.  It is an "Initial" stage of seminary life and training for priesthood, although it might also be a preparation for the full formation programme which will begin afterwards.

Following the injunction of Pope Saint John Paul II in Pastores Dabo Vobis that “there be a sufficient period of preparation prior to Seminary formation” (PDV, 1991, #62) many countries around the world made provision for such a period of initial preparation for students for the priesthood before they enter the full rigours of philosophical and theological studies in the major seminary.  From 2010, under the auspices of “Priests for Scotland”, the Bishops of Scotland provided a brief period of between three and five weeks in late August and early September for students who were about to head off to seminary. This took place each summer at the Royal Scots College in Salamanca.

So what is a "Propaedeutic Course"?

A propaedeutic course is intended to provide candidates for the Priesthood with aspects of spiritual and human formation for priesthood within a community setting. It is intended to help them explore their faith, deepen their relationship with Christ and reflect on what a vocation to be a priest means for them, so that they can be all the better prepared to enter into the academic and formational programme provided by the major seminary. It offers an Initial Formation, aimed at equipping them with a deeper understanding of priesthood, of the Church they seek to serve, of prayer, and of the various dimensions and themes which unite in the seminary formation which lies ahead of them. As a programme of formation, what is offered aims to provide as broadly-based and comprehensive a catechetical curriculum as possible, looking at the major aspects of any Christian formation (see the General Directory for Catechesis, #85-86):

  • Knowledge of the Faith,
  • Formation in prayer,
  • Preparation for and reflection on sacramental life
  • Formation in moral life
  • Formation for community living
  • Preparation for mission, keeping in mind the Church’s project of a New Evangelization

The opportunity offered to seminarians through a propaedeutic period, to deepen their faith and develop a more intimate relationship with the Lord, only makes sense in a community context. This is, in part due to what Pastores Dabo Vobis notes as the essential feature of discipleship as we find it in the Gospels: “To be with him”. That is: to join with others in company with the Lord, in order to learn from Him and become more like Him. It is also due to the fact that diocesan priesthood, which is the ultimate goal of this formation, is characterised above all by a life of service to the Christian community, and is rooted in a spirituality of service to that community. To help develop that spirituality and to express it most fully, Pastores Dabo Vobis (#31) says that all priestly formation should be placed in the context of - and be inspired by - an “essential and undeniable ecclesial dimension” of priesthood.  Even if our priests might work in "one-man-parishes", it is essential that they have developed a strong sense that they are not "lone workers", but rather servants of a community, either the local parish or parishes where they work, or the wider Church itself of which they are representatives, witnesses and servants.

“It is a good thing that there be a period of human, Christian, intellectual and spiritual preparation for the candidates to the Major Seminary. These candidates should, however, have certain qualities: right intention, a sufficient degree of human maturity, a sufficiently broad knowledge of the doctrine of the faith, some introduction into the methods of prayer, and behaviour in conformity with Christian tradition.” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 62)

In practice, Initial Seminary Formation - our name for the "Propaedeutic Period" - aims to support the development of the student’s personal life of faith through:

  • opportunities to deepen their personal life of prayer;
  • an introduction to Sacred Scripture as the Living Word of God;
  • an introduction to the Liturgy and the Paschal Mystery;
  • reflection on the person of Christ and the mystery of the Church;
  • regular spiritual direction and opportunities such as days of recollection;
  • lived experience of the communitarian dimension of the Christian (and priestly) vocation.

As Pastores Dabo Vobis suggests, spiritual formation also requires an authentic and balanced human formation: “It is important that the priest should mould his personality in such a way that it becomes a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ” (PDV, #43).

In this regard, seminarians who are engaged in this initial stage of formation will be encouraged to:

  • take responsibility for aspects of the shared life of the community;
  • participate fully in the community’s life, spiritually, liturgically, socially and materially;
  • generously place his talents and experience at the service of others;
  • conscientiously follow the Rule of Life laid out by College staff on behalf of the Bishops;
  • humbly and prudently reflect on his experiences, his relationships and his vocational sense as the period unfolds, so as to share a self-evaluation of his progress.

 

How does this all happen for those training to be priests in Scotland?Scots College Salamanca cloister

From January 2016, seminarians beginning their training for priesthood in the dioceses of Scotland head to the Royal Scots College in Salamanca. Founded in 1627 to train young men to serve as priests in Scotland, the College takes on the role of beginning this process for all our seminarians.

Courses undertaken include:

  • Spirituality - exploring prayer, traditions of prayer, prayer practices and the devotional life;
  • Liturgy (both the Mass and the Prayer of the Church, or "Divine Office") and the Sacraments;
  • Introductions to Scripture - the Gospels, the Old Testament and in particular the Psalms;
  • the person of Jesus: how we understand what the Scriptures and the Church says about him, what we believe about him and how we form a relationship with Him;
  • the Church and how we understand it, sense our belonging to it, and recognise its "marks" as one, holy, catholic and apostolic;
  • Church history, especially the story of the Church in Scotland;
  • the nature of faith, the Creed and how we express and understand our faith;
  • Evangelisation, Mission and the call to witness to our faith;
  • aspects of our lived faith: Catholic Social Doctrine and moral thinking

In addition, there are courses and reflections on human development, our human capacities, relationships and personal growth as well as a variety of pastoral themes and opportunities to meet and hear from priests engaged in ministry in a variety of contexts, or with various responsibilities, to give insights into what diocesan priesthood can  look like.

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As well as all this, however, there are many valuable opportunities offered by living for these months in Spain, and especially in that part of the country which has been home to saints and scholars over the centuries: St Teresa of Ávila, St John of the Cross, St Ignatius Loyola, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (the Dominican "Father of Human Rights"), Miguel de Cervantes (author of "Don Quixote") and many others.  Included in the course, therefore, are excursions to places of interest both in the spiritual life and in cultural life more widely.

 


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The Pontifical Scots College, Rome

The Pontifical Scots College, Rome

With 0 Comments, Category: Preparing for Seminary,

The Pontifical Scots College, Rome was founded on 5th December 1600 by Pope Clement VIII. It provided an education for young Scots Catholic men who, due to the laws against Catholics, could not receive a Catholic education at home. During the centuries that followed, the college sent a steady supply of priests to Scotland, being closed only when the French invaded Rome in 1798 and again during the Second World War. For two hundred years Jesuits and Italian secular clergy directed the College, but since 1800 the Rectors have all been Scots secular priests.

At first the college was sited in a little house in what is known today as Via del Tritone, opposite the church of S. Maria in Costantinopoli. In 1604 it was transferred to Via Felice, now called Via delle Quattro Fontane, and there it remained till 1962. The Church of St. Andrew of the Scots was built beside the college and, although no longer in the possession of the college, Mass is still regularly celebrated there. The present college building on the Via Cassia was opened in 1964 by Pope Paul VI and has since been visited by Pope John Paul II.

As well as a house for students for the priesthood, the Scots College has been a temporary home for many other Scots, such as the Bishops during the Second Vatican Council and other meetings, the several groups of priests who have taken part in theology refresher courses and, more recently, groups of pilgrims who come during the summer vacation. It has been at the centre of celebrations for the creation of three Scots Cardinals, Cardinal Gray, Cardinal Winning and Cardinal O'Brien, and it was visited by many pilgrims who came from Scotland for the Canonisation of St John Ogilvie.  It also frequently hosts groups of pilgrims from Scotland staying in the city for major events or Holy Years, such as the Jubilee of 2000, the Year of Faith in 2012-2013 and the Jubilee Year of Mercy 2015-2016.

This year there are around twenty students currently studying in the College in Rome, of the roughly thirty-five studying for the dioceses of Scotland in total.

Website: http://www.scotscollege.org/home.aspx

Twitter: @ScotsCollegeIT

 


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Vocations Awareness Week

Vocations Awareness Week

With 1 Comments, Category: Featured, Vocations, Vocations Campaigns,

Vocations Awareness Week

This has been held each year in September, as a way of inviting the whole Catholic community in Scotland to pray for and think about the importance of vocations to priesthood and religious life, and to encourage those considering a vocation to serve in the Church to come forward to reflect more intently on it.

In past years, material has been made available to parishes and secondary schools throughout the country. A Holy Hour and a short selection of prayer texts prepared for 2014's Vocations Awareness Week are available here. Teachers may wish to have a copy of the icon of Christ which features priests from throughout Scotland.  Contact the Priests for Scotland office.

Prayer cards associated with previous Vocations Awareness Week themes may still available from the Priests for Scotland office.


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Vocations Sunday 2014

Vocations Sunday 2014

With 5 Comments, Category: Vocations Campaigns,

New Vocations Campaign
For Vocations Sunday 2014 Priests for Scotland is launching a new vocations campaign centred around this icon of Christ. The image will be displayed on prayer cards, A3 posters and large A1 cards. One large icon has been purchased for each deanery in Scotland. A3 posters have been sent to every parish in Scotland and will be sent to schools in time for Vocations Awareness Week (September 2014).

The large poster will be available to parishes along with prayer cards and various prayer services for vocations. It is suggested that it might be set on an easel somewhere in the church where it might become a focus for prayer.

The icon itself is made up of the faces of priests from throughout Scotland. Please pray for our priests. If you yourself are considering becoming a diocesan priest the icon may remind you that that the Lord chooses ordinary men to form an extraordinary role. Together we pray that you may hear the Lord's call to serve with courage and with love.

If you would like copies of this poster or prayer cards for distribution please contact us at office@pfs.org.uk. We will be happy to supply as long as stocks last.

On June 20th there will be an Enquirers' Retreat for anyone who would like to take time to consider whether God is calling them to serve as a priest. Participants should be over 17 and should make application to their diocesan director of priestly vocations. The enquirers' event is requires no ongoing commitment and merely an opportunity to talk and pray with others who are considering a similar path.

Pope Francis

Click here for Pope Francis' message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2014.


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For Your Parish Bulletin

For Your Parish Bulletin

With 0 Comments, Category: News and Events, Vocations, Vocations Campaigns,

Bulletin or Website Notices for Vocations

First Sunday of Advent 2016 to Pentecost Sunday 2017

Please feel free to copy and paste these brief reflections into your weekly parish newsletter or other publications.  You may prefer to copy and paste them onto your parish website as a banner message or news item, to place a link to this page as a whole from your website, or to use them as Facebook posts on or around the relevant Sunday (as most of them are more than 140 characters, they are not suitable for Twitter).

 

First Sunday of Advent – November 27th 2016

“They shall hammer their swords into ploughshares and their spears into sickles….”  If you think that God is calling you to serve the Lord of the Harvest as a priest, deacon, sister or brother, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Second Sunday of Advent -- December 4th 2016

Are you called to be “A voice in the wilderness,” a herald preparing the Lord's way in the hearts of His people?  If you feel you may be called to the priesthood or religious life, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Third Sunday of Advent -- December 11th 2016

“I am sending my messenger ahead of you to prepare your way before you.”  Are you being called by Jesus to be his messenger as a priest, deacon, sister or brother? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Fourth Sunday of Advent -- December 18th 2016

“When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.”  Are you listening prayerfully to what God is asking of you? Could He be inviting you to the priesthood or consecrated life? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland : office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Christmas -- December 25th 2016

“I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people.”  If you think you may be called to announce the Good News of Christ's presence as a priest, deacon or in religious life, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God -- January 1st 2017

“Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  Are you pondering in your heart the possibility that God might want you to serve Him as a priest, deacon or in religious life? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

The Epiphany -- January 8th 2017

“Opening their treasures, they offered him gold, frankincense and myrrh.”  We all have gifts to offer in service and worship of Christ.  If you you think your gift might be yourself, as a priest, deacon or in religious life, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time -- January 15th 2017

“The Lord has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant.”  Has the Lord prompted you to be his servant in priesthood or consecrated life?  Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland : office@pfs.org.uk See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time -- January 22nd 2017

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.”  Are you being called to proclaim the coming of the kingdom as a priest, deacon, religious sister or brother? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time -- January 29th 2017

"Seek integrity, seek humility".  Could a life of humble but dedicated service as priest, deacon, religious brother or sister be your way to finding authenticity and integrity in life? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Presentation of the Lord -- February 2nd 2017 - World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

“She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all…” We are all called to bear witness to Christ in our lives. Could you be called to do so as a priest, deacon, or consecrated religious? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time -- February 5th 2017

“Your light must shine before others” - perhaps as a priest, deacon, sister or brother? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time -- February 12th 2017

“We have a wisdom to offer those who have reached maturity.” If you think God might be calling you to bring his wisdom and love to our world in the consecrated life or priesthood, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland : office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time -- February 19th 2017

“Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.”  Is God calling you to live out your vocation to holiness in priesthood or consecrated life? Call your Diocesan Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 26th 2017

“People must think of us as Christ's servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God."  Are you being called to be a servant of Christ and others in the consecrated life or priesthood? Is God calling you to be a steward of his mysteries? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

First Sunday of Lent -- March 5th 2017

Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert for forty days of prayer and fasting. Are you open to being led by the Holy Spirit into the state in life God has prepared for you? If you feel you may be called to the priesthood or consecrated life, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Second Sunday of Lent -- March 12th 2017

“God has called us to be holy …according to His own purpose and grace.”  If you think God is offering you the grace of a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Third Sunday of Lent -- March 19th 2017

“But whoever drinks the water I give, will never be thirsty.”  Are you thirsting for an understanding of your vocation? Do you long to bring people the water of life through priesthood or consecrated life? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Fourth Sunday of Lent -- March 26th 2017

“Try to discover what the Lord wants of you.” Are you sensing that God might be calling you to be a priest or to serve in religious life, bringing hope to the downcast and light to those in darkness? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland : office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Fifth Sunday of Lent -- April 2nd 2017

“I shall put my spirit in you and you shall live.”  Is the Spirit of God drawing you towards a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland : office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion -- April 9th 2017

“The Lord has given me a disciple's tongue... Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple.” Could the Lord speaking through your prayer, calling you to serve him as a priest or religious?  Speak to your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland : office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Easter Sunday -- April 16th 2017

“He saw and he believed.” Through our baptism Jesus calls us to profess faith and proclaim new life to the world. Pray for those who, as priests, brothers and sisters, help others see and believe. If you think God may be inviting you to such a vocation, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Second Sunday of Easter – April 23rd 2017

“As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.”  Is Jesus calling to you so as to send you out as priest, sister or brother to proclaim the Good News of God's mercy? Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Third Sunday of Easter  -- April 30th 2017

"They recognised him in the breaking of bread." Do you recognize Christ in your life and hope to make Him known to others? If you are considering the possibility that God might be calling you to this, speak to your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Fourth Sunday of Easter -- May 7th 2017 - World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Today, Good Shepherd Sunday, we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life, especially for our diocese, that God will raise up good shepherds in our midst. Speak to someone whom you think might make a good priest or religious. If you think God is calling you to serve the Church in this way, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Fifth Sunday of Easter  -- May 14th 2017

“I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”  All are called to communion with Christ and the Father through Baptism. Some are called to a further communion through ordination or consecrated life. If you think this might be you, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Sixth Sunday of Easter  -- May 21st 2017

“They laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”  Could Jesus be seeking to fill you with his Spirit to be a priest, a deacon or live in consecrated life?  Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Solemnity of the Ascension -- Thursday, May 25th 2017

"Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations."  Could God be calling to you, or someone you know, to join in this great mission, to make disciples, as a priest, deacon or religious brother or sister?  Call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland: office@pfs.org.uk See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Seventh Sunday of Easter  -- May 28th 2017

“I pray for them... because they belong to you”  Jesus, the High Priest, prays for us all. He prays especially for those he sets apart to serve his people  If you think God may be calling you to serve Him and His people as a priest or in the consecrated life, call your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

Pentecost Sunday -- June 4th 2017

“There are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord.”   What kind of service are you being asked to undertake for the Lord? Could it be to serve Him and His Church as a priest, deacon, sister or brother? Is the Holy Spirit drawing you closer to this kind of life? Speak to your Diocesan Vocations Director, or email Priests for Scotland at office@pfs.org.uk  See www.priestsforscotland.org.uk

 

 

Reflections and posts for the second half of the year will follow.


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Archbishop Muller to the Priests of Scotland

Archbishop Muller to the Priests of Scotland

With 1 Comments, Category: Ongoing Formation, Resources and Publications,

As part of national efforts in support of the Year of Faith, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland welcomed His Excellency Archbishop Müller,  Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Archbishop Müller spoke to the priests on the theme of "New Evangelisation".

The full text of Archbishop Müller's address is available here Archbishop Muller's Address to Priests.

Archbishop Müller also presented a letter from His Eminence Cardinal Bertone expressing the Holy Father's good wishes and his Apostolic Blessing for the Church in Scotland.

Message from Pope Francis


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Vocations Sunday 2013

Vocations Sunday 2013

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MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER
FOR THE 50th WORLD DAY
OF PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

21 APRIL 2013 - FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Theme: Vocations as a sign of hope founded in faith

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On the occasion of the 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, to be held on 21 April 2013, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, I want to invite you to reflect on the theme: “Vocations as a sign of hope founded in faith”, which happily occurs during the Year of Faith, the year marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. While the Council was in session, the Servant of God, Paul VI, instituted this day of worldwide prayer to God the Father, asking him to continue to send workers for his Church (cf. Mt 9:38). “The problem of having a sufficient number of priests”, as the Pope stated at the time, “has an immediate impact on all of the faithful: not simply because they depend on it for the religious future of Christian society, but also because this problem is the precise and inescapable indicator of the vitality of faith and love of individual parish and diocesan communities, and the evidence of the moral health of Christian families. Wherever numerous vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life are to be found, that is where people are living the Gospel with generosity” (Paul VI, Radio Message, 11 April 1964).

During the intervening decades, the various Christian communities all over the world have gathered each year on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, united in prayer, to ask from God the gift of holy vocations and to propose once again, for the reflection of all, the urgent need to respond to the divine call. Indeed, this significant annual event has fostered a strong commitment to placing the importance of vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life ever more at the centre of the spirituality, prayer and pastoral action of the faithful.

Hope is the expectation of something positive in the future, yet at the same time it must sustain our present existence, which is often marked by dissatisfaction and failures. On what is our hope founded? Looking at the history of the people of Israel, recounted in the Old Testament, we see one element that constantly emerges, especially in times of particular difficulty like the time of the Exile, an element found especially in the writings of the prophets, namely remembrance of God’s promises to the Patriarchs: a remembrance that invites us to imitate the exemplary attitude of Abraham, who, as Saint Paul reminds us, “believed, hoping against hope, that he would become ‘the father of many nations,’ according to what was said, ‘Thus shall your descendants be’" (Rom 4:18). One consoling and enlightening truth which emerges from the whole of salvation history, then, is God’s faithfulness to the covenant that he entered into, renewing it whenever man infringed it through infidelity and sin, from the time of the flood (cf. Gen 8:21-22) to that of the Exodus and the journey through the desert (cf. Dt 9:7). That same faithfulness led him to seal the new and eternal covenant with man, through the blood of his Son, who died and rose again for our salvation.

At every moment, especially the most difficult ones, the Lord’s faithfulness is always the authentic driving force of salvation history, which arouses the hearts of men and women and confirms them in the hope of one day reaching the “promised land”. This is where we find the sure foundation of every hope: God never abandons us and he remains true to his word. For that reason, in every situation, whether positive or negative, we can nourish a firm hope and pray with the psalmist: “Only in God can my soul find rest; my hope comes from him” (Ps 62:6). To have hope, therefore, is the equivalent of trusting in God who is faithful, who keeps the promises of the covenant. Faith and hope, then, are closely related. “Hope” in fact is a key word in biblical faith, to the extent that in certain passages the words “faith” and “hope” seem to be interchangeable. In this way, the Letter to the Hebrews makes a direct connection between the “unwavering profession of hope” (10:23) and the “fullness of faith” (10:22). Similarly, when the First Letter of Saint Peter exhorts the Christians to be always ready to give an account of the “logos” – the meaning and rationale – of their hope (cf. 3:15), “hope” is the equivalent of “faith” (Spe Salvi, 2).

Dear Brothers and Sisters, what exactly is God’s faithfulness, to which we adhere with unwavering hope? It is his love! He, the Father, pours his love into our innermost self through the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5). And this love, fully manifested in Jesus Christ, engages with our existence and demands a response in terms of what each individual wants to do with his or her life, and what he or she is prepared to offer in order to live it to the full. The love of God sometimes follows paths one could never have imagined, but it always reaches those who are willing to be found. Hope is nourished, then, by this certainty: “We ourselves have known and believed in the love that God has for us” (1 Jn 4:16). This deep, demanding love, which penetrates well below the surface, gives us courage; it gives us hope in our life’s journey and in our future; it makes us trust in ourselves, in history and in other people. I want to speak particularly to the young and I say to you once again: “What would your life be without this love? God takes care of men and women from creation to the end of time, when he will bring his plan of salvation to completion. In the Risen Lord we have the certainty of our hope!” (Address to Young People of the Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro, 19 June 2011).

Just as he did during his earthly existence, so today the risen Jesus walks along the streets of our life and sees us immersed in our activities, with all our desires and our needs. In the midst of our everyday circumstances he continues to speak to us; he calls us to live our life with him, for only he is capable of satisfying our thirst for hope. He lives now among the community of disciples that is the Church, and still today calls people to follow him. The call can come at any moment. Today too, Jesus continues to say, “Come, follow me” (Mk 10:21). Accepting his invitation means no longer choosing our own path. Following him means immersing our own will in the will of Jesus, truly giving him priority, giving him pride of place in every area of our lives: in the family, at work, in our personal interests, in ourselves. It means handing over our very lives to Him, living in profound intimacy with Him, entering through Him into communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit, and consequently with our brothers and sisters. This communion of life with Jesus is the privileged “setting” in which we can experience hope and in which life will be full and free.

Vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life are born out of the experience of a personal encounter with Christ, out of sincere and confident dialogue with him, so as to enter into his will. It is necessary, therefore, to grow in the experience of faith, understood as a profound relationship with Jesus, as inner attentiveness to his voice which is heard deep within us. This process, which enables us to respond positively to God’s call, is possible in Christian communities where the faith is lived intensely, where generous witness is given of adherence to the Gospel, where there is a strong sense of mission which leads people to make the total gift of self for the Kingdom of God, nourished by recourse to the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and by a fervent life of prayer. This latter “must on the one hand be something very personal, an encounter between my intimate self and God, the living God. On the other hand it must be constantly guided and enlightened by the great prayers of the Church and of the saints, by liturgical prayer, in which the Lord teaches us again and again how to pray properly.” (Spe Salvi, 34).

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. This constantly requires new workers to preach the Gospel, to celebrate the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So let there be committed priests, who know how to accompany young people as “companions on the journey”, helping them, on life’s often tortuous and difficult path, to recognize Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6), telling them, with Gospel courage, how beautiful it is to serve God, the Christian community, one’s brothers and sisters. Let there be priests who manifest the fruitfulness of an enthusiastic commitment, which gives a sense of completeness to their lives, because it is founded on faith in him who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19).

Equally, I hope that young people, who are presented with so many superficial and ephemeral options, will be able to cultivate a desire for what is truly worthy, for lofty objectives, radical choices, service to others in imitation of Jesus. 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)!

From the Vatican, 6 October 2012

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI


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Thirty Quotes # 29

Thirty Quotes # 29

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“Christ continues to call young disciples…face this challenge without anxiety or mediocrity” (Pope Benedict XVI to Seminarians 20 VIII 2011)

 Christ continues to call, his voice is not silent: but the call that Christ makes to priesthood is a challenge, the radical call to live the message of the Gospel. When this call is made, for those who receive it, nothing else will satisfy. When this call is made then no matter how difficult it might seem to respond to it, how challenging to accept it, “God gives the right grace to face and overcome the challenges with love and realism” (Pope Benedict XVI to Seminarians 20 VIII 2011). This is why there need be no anxiety: the call may seem to us to be beyond our ability, but if it is God who calls then he will also provide the grace needed to give the response that He desires of us. The call will also find us responding in a whole-hearted way, without any trace of mediocrity. For in this call we seek to be modelled completely on Christ, to identify with him in such a way that we find ourselves filled with joy, yet humble in the face of such a task. For those called then, this is the path that Christ has chosen for them through which they will fulfil their calling to be his Saints. Christ calls…face the challenge!


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