Message from Fr John Paul Escarlan, Director of Priestly Vocations, Diocese of Parramatta
58th World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Good Shepherd Sunday
25 April 2021
May the Risen Christ bring us hope and peace!
“Lest we forget”. We should not forget the men and women who offered their lives for our great nation. As we celebrate Anzac Day this weekend, we will also observe the 58th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, also known as The Good Shepherd Sunday.
We remember and give thanks to God for the people who have been our good shepherds in our life. In a special way, we are thanking those priests who also offered their whole life in faithful service of God’s kingdom.
We also pray for more men to answer God’s call to the priesthood throughout the whole world, especially in our Diocese.
In his message for the 58th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis is pointing us to St Joseph as the best model of vocation: “Saint Joseph is an extraordinary figure, yet at the same time one ‘so close to our own human experience’. He did not do astonishing things, he had no unique charisms, nor did he appear special in the eyes of those who met him. He was not famous or even noteworthy: the Gospels do not report even a single word of his. Still, through his ordinary life, he accomplished something extraordinary in the eyes of God.”
We need more courageous, humble and faithful priests willing to offer their whole lives preaching and living out the Gospel. The Church needs more men and women who will answer God’s call to evangelise the world. Pope Francis tells us that we need priests and consecrated people who have hearts “that are open, capable of great initiatives, generous in self-giving, compassionate in comforting anxieties and steadfast in strengthening hopes.”
To all single men in the Diocese of Parramatta who think that Jesus Christ is calling you to the ministerial priesthood, be courageous in saying “yes” to Him. Have courage and get up; He is calling you (Mark 10:49) to be witnesses of His love and presence in this world by your whole life of generous service as priests.
If you feel that God may be calling you to the priesthood, talk to your parish priests or myself as the Director for Priestly Vocations in the Diocese of Parramatta. I look forward to accompanying you in your discernment to the priesthood.
Fr John Paul Escarlan
Director of Priestly Vocations, Diocese of Parramatta
To find out more about a vocation to the priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta, visit www.parracatholic.org/seminary, contact the Holy Spirit Seminary or the Director of Vocations: Priesthood, Fr John Paul Escarlan on firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations here.