DISCERNING VOCATIONS: A TASK FOR THE WHOLE CHURCH
19th June 2013
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 God’s call.
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 Church.
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 http://www.additionalcurates.co.uk/vocationsconference.php
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 encouraging those who may have a vocation to come to the conference and find out more.
Dr Colin Podmore,
Director - Forward in Faith