I have my missionSunday 28th October 2018
In a Pastoral Letter read across the diocese this weekend Bishop John has asked us all to consider what our ‘definite purpose’ is. He said:
“I firmly believe that God has a definite purpose for each one of us. Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman was convinced that God has committed some work to each one of us that He has not committed to another. We can all say, in his words, “I have my mission”. Discerning that mission, or vocation, God will call as many men to the priesthood as are needed, and men and women to religious life. We must do all that we can to ensure that those who are called are listening.”
He called on us all to continue to develop ourselves as Missionary Disciples and “to use our gifts in growing and strengthening our parish communities and taking our Faith out to the wider community in service of all, particularly the marginalised and the poor.” This is the focus of Stage Two of Hope in the Future where we are all asked to discern our gifts and talents. The Bishop went on to reminded us that within that mission, the priest has a specific role:
“The essential role of the priest is to provide sacraments to a parish community in the celebration of the Eucharist, Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. He is the lead pastor who, with the assistance of lay ministers, ensures that there is care for the sick and the elderly of the parish community, for all those in any particular spiritual need, and catechesis for the young and on-going Faith formation for the whole community. He is the spiritual father of the community with a ministry of prayer for the people and for preaching the Word of God. ”
We have seen a reduction in the number of priests in the last few years and we will continue to see more priests retire than those being ordained. In his letter Bishop John asked all our parishes, schools and families to nurture the conversations that allows for priestly vocations to be spoken about and encouraged.
Bishop John directly challenged the young of the diocese:
“To ask if it is possible that God is calling them to priesthood. Are there young men and women called to religious life? I would like to challenge everyone to consider if they know of men and women who they believe have the qualities for such service in the Church. Would they have the courage to suggest that to them? And I would ask that we all make a fresh commitment to pray for vocations: that those whom God may be calling may hear that call and respond, with our active encouragement.”
You can read more about vocations in the Diocese of Salford by reading our vocations page on this page you can also find all the contact details for the vocations team.