DISCERNING VOCATIONS: FROM FORWARD IN FAITH A TASK FOR THE
One of the remarkable developments of recent
years has been the growth in the number of men who stand firmly in the catholic tradition whom God is calling to the priesthood in the Church of England and who have responded in faith to that call. The number in formation at St Stephen’s House and the number who will be beginning their studies there this autumn are very encouraging. This is a sign of hope for our future. A high proportion of them are young men who can offer up to
forty years of service or even more.
But although this growth is encouraging, it is not enough. We need more priests than we have, yet the number who will retire in the coming years means that we shall have even fewer unless an even larger number respond to
Vocation involves a double call – an internal calling discerned by the individual, but also a calling through
the Church. This means that Vocations are the concern of the whole Church and not just of the individuals concerned. We all need to think and pray about who in our parishes might be called by God to ministry in his
The next Vocations Conference will be held at St Stephen’s House from 30 August to 1 September. Forward in Faith calls on its clergy and people in each parish to consider prayerfully whether there is someone in their midst whom God might be calling to the priesthood, and who should be encouraged to attend the Vocations Conference in order to explore this.
Further details may be found at
In calling young men to the priesthood, God assures us that he has a future for us. But it is also true that if there is no response to that vocation, we shall have no future. Please play your part in the process of discernment, by couraging those who may have a vocation to come to the conference and find out more.
Pope Francis " Today’s meeting is an opportunity to remind ourselves that the search for unity among Christians is prompted not by practical considerations, but by the will of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who made us his brothers and sisters, children of the One Father. Hence the prayer that we make today is of fundamental importance.
This prayer gives a fresh impulse to our daily efforts to grow towards unity, which are concretely expressed in our
cooperation in various areas of daily life. Particularly important among these is our witness to the reference to God and the promotion of Christian values in a world that seems at times to call into question some of the foundations of
society, such as respect for the sacredness of human life or the importance of the institution of the family built on marriage, a value that you yourself have had occasion to recall recently."
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