World Day of Prayer For Vocations
Not so long ago this Parish of Kilmurry, along with the neighbouring
parishes of Kilmichael and Newcestown, were known in the Diocese
of Cork and Ross as 'the Bible Belt'. Why? Because they each
produced so many vocations to the diocesan priesthood, to the
missionary priesthood and to the religious life. It's a reputation
to be proud of and also one that cannot be forgotten. How many
sons and daughters of these three parishes lie buried in places
all over the globe as they await the resurrection, after life
- times of service to God and fellow-man?
However, things have changed dramatically. There are many reasons
for this. The first reason may simply be a demographic one -
families are smaller etc. Then there's the profound social and
cultural change that has occurred in Ireland over the last two
decades. I suppose the single biggest factor has been the enormous
economic success we have enjoyed over the last decade or so.
All of these things, together with a fast - growing secular
view of life, have contributed to a very changed ecclesiastical
landscape. I cannot omit either the huge damage caused to the
Church and to the faith by the recent spate of scandals in the
It is against this background that we are invited today to pray
for vocations. On a positive note, the Vocations Information
Day held at Ennismore, Cork on Sat March 19th 2005 was encouraging.
Nine young men attended and they found this day to be very helpful.
We all have a responsibility to look after vocations. I would
very much welcome and encourage open discussions in the parish
about ways and means of promoting vocations to the priesthood.
I don't think anybody would dispute the difference that the
priesthood of Pope John Paul II made to the Church and the world.
Nearer home, we can appreciate the difference the priesthood
of Edward J. Galvin has made and continues to make to millions
of people throughout the developing world.
Equally, I am certain that the present generation of young people
do not lack the idealism, enthusiasm and generosity that inspired
John Paul, Edward J. Galvin or Teresa of Calcutta. So let us
pray for vocations.
Prayer for Vocations
O Jesus, send labourers into your fields, which are awaiting
holy apostles, saintly priests, heroic missionaries and dedicated
sisters and brothers.
Enkindle in the hearts of men and women the spark of a vocation.
Grant that Christian families may desire to give your Church,
helpers in the work of tomorrow.