Addressing the 2,000 members, the Holy Father reminded the congregation that the anniversary is a chance to consider Saint Justin’s legacy, particularly how to carry forth his mission of supporting priestly and religious vocations in our modern world.
To do so, Pope Francis said, “Each of us should answer in silence to this question – ‘Do I pray for vocations?’ or do I just say an Our Father or a Hail Mary kind of in a rush? Prayer is the root of all our activities and of all apostolate … Many vocations are inspired by this joy rooted in prayer” the importance of which must “never be overlooked”.
Pope Francis’ comments coincide with the Year for Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood that is taking place here in Ireland and is running for one year from 30 April 2023 to 30 April 2024 on the theme ‘Take the Risk for Christ’.
While welcoming Pope Francis’ 2023 annual message for vocations, on the theme ‘Vocation: Grace and Mission’, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, chair of the Bishops’ Council for Vocations, said, “I feel that Pope Francis is urging us to keep proposing to young men the way of the priesthood, following Jesus Christ in this particular vocation and, every day, to Take the Risk for Christ! … Future priests need support to discern their vocation. I encourage any man who seeks to explore their calling to priestly ministry to make contact today with their local priest or diocesan vocations director”.
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