Good Shepherd Sunday is being celebrated today in Catholic parishes across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. The Catholic Church invites you to pray for those you might know whom God may be calling to a priestly vocation and would benefit from your prayers.
Pope Francis Tells Us
We will never discover the special, personal calling that God has in mind for us if we remain enclosed in ourselves, in our usual way of doing things… We could lose the chance to dream big and to play our part in the unique and original story that God wants to write with us. God calls young people from our local communities to serve as priests and consecrated religious. We all have a role to play in helping young people to ‘dream big’ and hear this call. What can I do to foster vocations from this community?”
It will not fill our hearts if we keep standing by the window with the excuse of waiting for the right time, without accepting this very day the risk of making a decision. Vocation is today! The Christian mission is now! Each one of us is called to become a witness of the Lord, here and now. We should not wait to be perfect in order to respond with our generous “yes”, nor be fearful of our limitations and sins, but instead open our hearts to the voice of the Lord.
A message from Fr John Paul Escarlan – Director of Priestly Vocations of the Diocese
All of us have a vocation—we are called to be saints! Pope Francis reminds us “all Christians are called to be missionaries of the Gospel!” In other words, every Christian is called to holiness. To help us achieve this Universal Call to Holiness (Lumen Gentium, Chapter V), we are called by God for a specific vocation—be it marriage, single life, holy orders (bishop, priest or deacon) or consecrated life as a religious, hermit, member of a secular institute or consecrated virgin.
God may be calling you to be His priests. Do not be afraid to say “YES”, like our Mother Mary, to follow God’s will—to be witnesses of His LOVE in this world as priests. The Holy Mother Church needs more holy and humble priests willing to go out of their comfort zones and be sent to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
To all young men in the Diocese of Parramatta, kindly open your hearts and your ears to the voice of Jesus Christ, the High Priest and Good Shepherd, calling you to be priests to selflessly serve His people through the Sacraments and through the preaching of the Gospel by your words and deeds.
If you feel that God may be calling you to the priesthood, talk to your parish priests or to me as the Director for Priestly Vocations in the Diocese of Parramatta. I look forward journeying with you in your discernment to the priesthood.
About Holy Spirit Seminary, Harris Park
Holy Spirit Seminary currently houses 16 seminarians in training for the Diocese of Parramatta. There they share times of prayer, meals, sport and entertainment.
From the seminary, the students go out to study philosophy and theology together with students from other seminaries, religious orders, and people from all walks of life. They also participate in pastoral work in the various parishes and agencies of the diocese throughout their seven-year formation program.
The seminary offers a holistic formation focusing on the human, pastoral, spiritual, and academic aspects of priestly life. While there are times set for prayer and study, the seminarians are encouraged to play sport, watch movies, catch up with family and friends, and live a balanced and well-rounded life.
Living at the seminary allows the students to foster fraternal bonds that not only help them through the seminary but will ultimately help them throughout their priestly lives. The support of fellow seminarians and the formation team is there to help the young men become good, normal, holy men; men after the heart of Christ fit for His service.
Watch a video about seminary life in the Diocese of Parramatta, click here.
To read the message from Pope Francis for the 55th World Day of Prayers for Vocations, click here.