Archbishop Martin: Young people face ‘epidemic of despondency and despair’

9 May, 2023 | Bishops, News

On Sunday 7 May last, Archbishop Eamon Martin ordained Father Carlos Esteban Rojo to priesthood for the Archdiocese of Armagh.

During his Homily, Archbishop Martin lamented the world young people now face. He said, “Sadly, we live in a world where there seems to be almost an epidemic of despondency and despair, where too many people – including some of our dear young people – struggle to answer the Why question and to find meaning and purpose in life.

“Recently, a careers teacher in one of our schools told me that she feels really privileged to be helping and guiding young people as they make important decisions for the future.  She likes her students to go much deeper than simply picking a course for University and employment – she likes them to ask themselves, what will make me happy?  What do I feel called to do?  What’s my vocation?”

The Archbishop of Armagh continued, “It’s the month of May, and these days our school leavers are preparing to take their final exams and firming up their choices and next steps.  I expect that many of them are still quite uncertain about where life is bringing them or which way they are going.  The answer to that ‘why?’ question in life tends to emerge gradually – it’s a journey of discovery, an adventure in which we slowly uncover the path which God is unfolding and opening up before us.

“I hope and pray that some of our young school leavers will be open to hearing God’s call to priesthood and the religious life.”

The Primate concluded, “Today, Carlos, I invite you then to say ‘no’ to despondency, and yes, in the Holy Spirit, to the evangelising mission of Christ who is the Way, who is the Truth and the Life. Say ‘yes’ to the people and the communities who will be entrusted to your priestly care; say ‘yes’ to your communion with the Church, the Pope, your bishops and your brother priests.  Say ‘yes’ to the Eucharist, to Mary our Blessed Mother who is the Star of the New Evagelisation; say ‘yes’ to prayer and self-discipline.  In short, say ‘yes’ to the ‘why?’ for which you were born – the ongoing unfolding of a vocation to priesthood to which God has called you.”

The Mass of Ordination was celebrated in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.

To read this homily in full, click here.



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