Good Shepherd Sunday 2020 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.
A message for Good Shepherd Sunday from Fr John Paul Escarlan
Director of Priestly Vocations, Diocese of Parramatta
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May the Risen Lord bring blessings of peace, love and healing power!
On the 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday), we are invited to observe the 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
Pope Francis is inviting us to promote and pray for vocations. He wrote: “Dear friends, on this day in particular, but also in the ordinary pastoral life of our communities, I ask the Church to continue to promote vocations. May she touch the hearts of the faithful and enable each of them to discover with gratitude God’s call in their lives, to find courage to say “yes” to God, to overcome all weariness through faith in Christ, and to make of their lives a song of praise for God, for their brothers and sisters, and for the whole world.”
I am humbly requesting you to include in your prayers for more men and women to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow His Divine will in their lives. We really need to pray for vocations because, as St Pope Paul VI reminded us, our world needs God’s “universal redemption”. Our world is really in need of God.
We need more faithful and courageous missionaries of God in this world. I hope and pray that you are willing to be part of God’s missionaries to proclaim the Gospel to all creation (Mark 16:15) and God’s universal desire of human salvation.
As we celebrate the Good Shepherd Sunday, we especially remember those who are called to the ministerial priesthood. We need more holy and humble men to celebrate the Holy Eucharist where our Lord Jesus is “truly, really, and substantially contained” (Council of Trent, 1551; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1374). The Church needs more priests who are faithful and selfless good shepherds to God’s people especially during this pandemic.
To all young men in the Diocese of Parramatta who feel 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.
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.
Your fellow servant in Christ,
Fr John Paul Escarlan
Director of Priestly Vocations
Diocese of Parramatta