Bishop Phonsie Cullinan, Chair of the Bishops’ Council for Vocations, was the celebrant and homilist at Mass for Vocations Sunday which was broadcast this morning on RTÉ One television.
In his homily Bishop Cullinan said: “The Lord is calling. I believe that. I would not be here if I didn’t. The Lord’s voice is one of many voices vying for our attention. Do you sense that? That there are different voices, distractions, temptations, pulling us in different directions and which threaten to drown out the voice of the Lord who calls us closer to him.
“How does he call us? How do we hear his voice? We hear him deep inside in our conscience, we can hear him in prayer, in scripture and in the teachings of his Church. In others. In the events which happen to us and around us.
“And then the other voices – calling us to selfishness, to forget to do one’s duty, to neglect my family, to forget my sick neighbour and put my feet up and relax, to concentrate solely on myself, my personal wellbeing and fulfilment. How often is this voice the wolf who comes to destroy the sheep, as Jesus says, the voice calling us away from getting close to the Saviour, the shepherd?”
Bishop Phonsie also spoke about the many different types of vocational call, “We all have a calling, a vocation – married, single, religious or priest. As Cardinal Newman once wrote ‘God has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another’. No one is unimportant to God.”
Bishop Cullinan also prayed for more vocations to priesthood and religious life and asked the lay faithful and all listening/watching on television to do the same, “Please pray for more priests and religious so much needed in the Church, to give us the sacraments, to lead, to give us the Gospel, to point is to Christ, not only for now but all time.”
Married couples were also very much part of Bishop Cullinan’s focus for his Vocations Sunday homily and he offered prayers for more happy and united married couples.
Bishop Cullinan concluded his homily by asking for the grace to listen to God’s voice. He said, “listening requires courage. Is this why we don’t really listen to God’s voice – because it means we have to change the change is difficult?”
The congregation for this morning’s Mass was made up of priests, religious and lay people, including representatives from Vocations Ireland, Saint Joseph’s Young Priests Society and the Knights of Saint Columbanus.
The choir for the Mass were from Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth and were directed by Sister Moira Bergin RSM.
For more information on vocations to priesthood and religious life please see www.vocations.ie and www.vocationsireland.com.
Click here for an interview with Bishop Phonsie which was recorded after the Mass in RTÉ .