Ahead of Vocations Sunday 2019, which takes place this Sunday 12 May, Archbishop Eamon Martin has published a pastoral message to encourage vocations to the priesthood.
Archbishop Martin said: “We are blessed in the Archdiocese of Armagh to have twenty-one young men preparing in Dundalk, Maynooth and Rome to serve as priests in our diocese. Most of these are coming to us from abroad. However I am still very keen to encourage and nurture vocations to the priesthood from among our own young people, many of whom have strong faith and great gifts to offer our Church. How might this be done?”
Archbishop Martin asked the people of the Archdiocese of Armagh to prayerfully reflect on vocations in two distinct ways:
- What is the most important role that the priests of tomorrow will play in our diocese?
- What qualities will the priests of tomorrow need to have for our diocese?
The Archbishop continued: “Please consider these questions – at home around the kitchen table, or in school, or out with friends, or during your coffee and lunch breaks at work. Share your thoughts with me and with our Diocesan Vocations Commission.”
Responses can be sent via email to email@example.com or via post to Diocesan Vocations Commission, Ara Coeli, Cathedral Road, Armagh BT61 7QY. Responses can be returned by 30 June.
Archbishop Martin emphasised that “The Lord has not stopped calling some young people to serve Him in the priesthood”. Quoting Pope Francis, who said the Lord “doubles the stakes, for he never ceases to care for his beloved church” (CV275).
The Archbishop is encouraging people to pray for vocations using the following prayer:
Prayer for Vocations, St. Joseph Young Priests’ Society
O Jesus, send labourers into your fields which are awaiting holy apostles,
saintly priests, heroic missionaries and dedicated sisters and brothers.
Enkindle in the hearts of men and women the spark of a vocation.
Grant that Christian families may desire to give your Church
helpers in the work of tomorrow.
See full press release here.