Dear Friends in Christ,
Today is ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’, and is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. Jesus tells us in the Gospels that we must pray to the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest. The old adage states: ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’! For us as Catholic Christians, our asking is our prayer, and if we don’t pray, then how do we expect the Lord to respond with provision of priests and religious.
Recent studies have determined that nearly all vocations to the Priesthood are rooted in the home, through the family. The example set by parents, in simple ways, by praying together, saying grace before meals, encouraging our young people to be involved with the Church, talking about the faith in mature and simple ways, not being ashamed of being a practising Catholic, having the courage to stand up for our beliefs, reading the Scriptures, reading spiritual books, having a real experience of the life of faith; the list is endless!
In truth, the reality of this present day is that there are fewer priests, especially in our own country and our own diocese. The recent Stewards of the Gospel initiative is addressing these issues. The possibility of priests assuming the responsibility of two and three parishes is on the horizon. So we truly do have to pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send labourers into his harvest. We cannot rest on our laurels; if there is no priest, there is no Mass!