Monthly Masses for Vocations to the Priesthood ReturnWednesday 11th January 2023
“To Love and to Serve”
People across the diocese are being invited to get talking about vocations to the priesthood as part of a hopeful initiative.
A series of monthly Masses for Vocations is set to return on Friday 20th January to help inspire conversation and prayer around priestly vocations.
The Masses will take place across the length and breadth of the diocese as they move from deanery to deanery each month.
Parishes are also invited to hold their own Mass, Holy Hour, or event to support vocations in their own way.
Vocations Director Fr Mark Paver is delighted to announce the return of the Masses and to invite people across the diocese to join this renewed community of prayer.
He said: “It’s important to keep the conversation about vocations to the priesthood alive in our parishes.
“We want to normalise the idea that the next vocation to the priesthood is already a parishioner in our pews. God has given us priests currently serving in our diocese from all parts of it over the years. Why would He stop calling now?
“We want to give an opportunity for people who might be interested in discerning a vocation to come along to meet with us, to hear a little more about the vocation to the priesthood, and to hopefully meet with others who are also curious about the possibility of a priestly vocation.”
As well as striving to support potential discerners, Fr Mark and Vocations Promoter Fr Michael Deas are also hoping to encourage a culture of prayer across the wider diocese.
Asking each one of us to keep the future of the priesthood in our diocese and those discerning a vocation in our prayers, Fr Michael said: “Everything should begin with prayer and through prayer, we place all our efforts into God’s hands. Through prayer, we align our will with God’s will and are not fooled into thinking that this is all about us or anyone else. At the same time, we can pray that God opens the hearts of men to the possibility of a calling to the priesthood and gives them the courage to respond to that calling.
“Moreover, authentic, heartfelt prayer increases our sensitivity to the needs of our communities and , on this particular issue, to the gifts and talents that others may have that could indicate a possible vocation to the priesthood. It may be that we need to be more alert so that we can be the one to suggest a vocation to another.”
The monthly Masses will support ongoing work to promote vocations across the diocese. Already, the team is working hard to nurture a growing community of young adults, supported by diocesan pilgrimages such as Lourdes and World Youth Day, whilst continuing regular visits to schools and colleges, and developing links with local university chaplaincies.
Parishioners are also set to see new printed materials arriving in parishes over the coming weeks – all with the newly-chosen tag line “To Love and to Serve” – and may have also engaged with a digital campaign on diocesan web and social media channels over the last year.
As always, our priests are on hand to support any parishioner who may want to learn more about a vocation to the priesthood, or simply discuss their thoughts and feelings around the subject.
Fr Michael said: “Every parish priest will happily spend time talking to someone about the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood but if you are considering a vocation, it might help to consider some of the signs in your life. Are you praying? Are you receiving the Sacraments? Are you sensing a desire to serve God and His people in this way? Do you look at a priest and think “I can see myself doing that”, or do your friends or family affirm the idea that you should be a priest?”
Our vocations office can also be contacted by clicking here.
Confirmed dates for upcoming Masses for Vocations are as follows:
Friday 20th January, 7pm | St Bernard’s, Burnage.
Friday 10th February, 7pm | St Brendan’s, Harwood
Friday 21st April, 7pm | Salford Cathedral.
(Please note, there will be no Mass in March).
All are welcome to attend any of the Masses, and our vocations team is eager to invite you to join us as we begin to strengthen our community of prayer, support, and discussion around diocesan vocations to the priesthood.
Fr Mark said: “When it comes to the priesthood in particular, the prospect of a call may be intimidating at first and the need to have a conversation about it can well up or go ignored.
“We hope that these Masses and the prayer and community that builds up around them will create opportunities for discussion and sharing, encourage men to ask themselves if they might have a vocation to priesthood, encourage others to spot the potential vocations around them and be willing to suggest it, and also help to build up a culture where all of us take more seriously God’s call for our lives, seek it, find it and live it.”