2024 sees increase in inquiries on priesthood vocations

19 Jun, 2024 | News, Vocations

The first in a series of regional meetings of vocations directors took place in the Pallotines retreat centre in Thurles, Co Tipperary, on 24 May, to provide feedback and review the work and outcome of the Year for Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood.  This dedicated Year for Vocation took place across the island of Ireland over 2023 and 2024.  This Thurles gathering was the first in a series of vocations director meetings to be held in the four diocesan provincial regions of Cashel & Emly, Tuam, Armagh and Dublin.

In Thurles, vocations directors from the dioceses of Dublin, Ossory, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, and Cashel & Emly, joined with Bishop Phonsie Cullinan, chair of the Bishops’ Council for Vocations; Father Willie Purcell, National Vocations Coordinator; and Rev Eric Cooney of the National Vocations Office, to discuss vocations and to highlight how directors can be assisted in their ministry, for example, by identifying which resources might best support their important work.

At the meeting Bishop Cullinan said, “overall, vocations directors are key people in the journey of any man thinking about the priesthood, thinking about taking the risk for Christ.  No one can go it alone.  Any prospective candidate needs encouragement, support and wise guidance.  Therefore, any support for vocations directors is a direct help for candidates to the diocesan priesthood.”

Bishop Cullinan gave his overview of the Year for Vocation, highlighting the various events that involved media coverage and how this impacted on creating a discussion around diocesan priesthood in local communities.  Father Purcell shared resources on best practice in the discernment process for men who come forward to begin the journey to the priesthood.  The meeting agreed that the 2023-2024 year was a success, especially in terms of raising awareness of the need for prayer, conversation, and gatherings to promote the joy of a vocation.

The meeting also heard that, so far this year, there have been an increase in inquiries seeking details on discerning a vocation to the diocesan priesthood in Ireland.  Vocations directors felt that the renewed interest in vocations to the priesthood was as a result of, not only the events associated with the Year for Vocation, but also thanks to the various positive ways in which diocesan priesthood had been highlighted in the media.

The meeting agreed that it is important that vocations to the diocesan priesthood continue to be highlighted on social and legacy/mass media, as well as on the ground in person in parishes and dioceses.

To contact the national vocations office, or to find out more about vocations to the diocesan priesthood, please visit here.



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