Today we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter, often known as “Good Shepherd” Sunday because of the Gospel passage directed to be read during Mass on this day. It is appropriate that it is also designated as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and Religious Life. A Vocation to serve as priest, deacon or religious is something which depends on listening to the impulse, the breath of God’s Spirit in our lives. It depends on listening to the word spoken and revealed to us by Jesus Christ. The call may come suddenly, in a moment of great clarity and conviction or even conversion of life. More often it comes slowly and gradually, over a period of time and through the events and circumstances of life. In his message for Vocations Sunday 2018, Pope Francis writes:
“The Lord continues to call others to live with him and follow him in a relationship of particular closeness. He continues to call others to serve him directly. If he lets us realise that he is calling us to consecrate ourselves totally to his kingdom, then we should have no fears. It is beautiful – and a great grace – to be completely and forever consecrated to God and the service of our brothers and sisters”.
We are blessed in the Diocese of Cardiff to have three ordinations to the priesthood in the coming months. Revv. Peter Davies, Robert James and Nicholas Williams are preparing for ordination so that they may fulfil the beautiful words of Pope Francis. Laurence Bryce will shortly be ordained to the diaconate, the final step before ordination to the priesthood next year. Pray for all of these men as they commit their lives to the service of God and his people. Please continue to pray for our other two seminarians, Elliot and Dale who continue their formation to the priesthood. Fr. Paul Millar, the Vocations Director for the Diocese of Cardiff, continues to discern and direct prospective candidates who are considering offering themselves for formation as priests of the diocese. Fr. Paul is available to respond to any enquiries by calling 02920 778631
As is customary, there will be a collection today for the fund for the training of priests. Gift Aid envelopes are also available for your contribution. If you are a taxpayer and use the Gift Aid envelope provided, the tax you have paid on this charitable donation can be reclaimed by the diocese.