From The Catholic Weekly (Australia)
THE OFT-STATED claim that young men nowadays don’t want to be priests is given the lie by the number of them in Sydney alone who are now in training for the priesthood – the 39
young men at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, 21 young men at the Redemptorist Mater
Seminary and countless numbers in formation with orders such as the Dominicans and the
The number of seminarians is increasing worldwide and this has been apparent in Sydney
for some time.
The past two years has seen the ordination of 10 young men in St Mary’s Cathedral, with further ordinations scheduled for May this year.
The Vocation Centre of the archdiocese of Sydney is hard at work offering confidential spiritual guidance and retreats for those discerning priestly and religious life.
This year it offers two discernment retreats for men considering the “You see, my role as
director of vocations is to help young people discern what God is really calling them to; there is never a question of trying to ‘recruit’ or influence someone who is not called.
“For instance, I have assisted some young men to see they are actually called to marriage.
“It is their vocation, their choice as to how they exercise their freedom and it’s also their responsibility to genuinely listen to what God is asking them.”
The Vocation Centre is also hard at work helping parishes to be supportive and caring places for young people discerning their vocation.
This month sees the launch of a Vocations Co-ordinators Resource Kit.
And today (Sunday, February 27) the Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell, in a
service at St Mary’s Cathedral, is commissioning the first group of lay volunteers who
will implement the kit in their parishes.
Elizabeth Arblaster of the Vocation Centre says: “The lay people who have volunteered to be parish vocations co-ordinators know that we need to support priests in this work so that our young people hear vocations stories, see positive examples of all vocations and have a prayerful and informed community that will support them as they listen to God’s call.
“In doing this work, these lay people are giving life to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s desire that young people need to be supported in their local churches and ‘feel the Priesthood (April 8-10 , September 23-25 ), two seminary inquiry days (May 29 and October 30) as well as monthly reflection days throughout 2011 called Silence and Solitude
There is also a retreat for women on prayer, discernment, marriage and consecrated life (March 11-13), as well as one later in the year for women considering consecrated life
On top of it all, the Vocation Centre is about the launch a new DVD on the priesthood as well as a weekly Vocations Show on the online Catholic radio station CRADIO, offering
in-depth interviews, testimonies and the chance to ask questions about vocations.
“These retreats, reflection and inquiry days for young men considering whether Christ is calling them to the priesthood is a time for these men to go deeper, ask questions, and
meet up with peers who are undertaking a similar journey” says the archdiocesan director of Vocations, Fr Michael de Stoop.
“The men take much spiritual enrichment, knowledge and support from these retreats.
“They know when they come along that there is no pressure and no strings attached.warmth of the whole community as they respond yes to God and the Church’.
“We want to hear from those lay people and we feel passionate about training and supporting them.”
For discernment resources, information about retreats, receiving confidential guidance, or
becoming a parish vocations co-ordinator, call the Vocation Centre on 9390 5970, email
email@example.com or visit www.vocationcentre.org.au
If you are actively discerning a vocation to the Priesthood, Diaconate, Consecrated Life, or Marriage and you are looking for information to help in your discernment, BE SURE TO CHECK the section at the bottom of the right sidebar for the "labels" on all posts. By clicking on one of these labels it will take you to a page with all posts containing that subject. You will also find many links for suggested reading near the bottom of the right sidebar. Best wishes and be assured of my daily prayers for your discernment.