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Ireland: vocation drive through a year dedicated to promoting the priesthood

(ZENIT News – ICN / Dublín, 03.08.2023).- Tuesday, March 7, on the second day of the Spring General Meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan and a number of seminarians, priests and bishops announced a Year of Vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood to take place next month on the theme: ‘Take the Risk for Christ’. The photocall took place in the College Chapel of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

Speaking at the photocall, Bishop Cullinan said: “A key objective of this Year of Vocations is to start conversations within families, with priests and in parish communities on the beauty of the vocation of priesthood. Feedback from newly ordained priests indicates a strong correlation between their calling and encouragement received from a priest about their ministry, in other words taking the risk for Christ.”

The Year for Vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood will run from Vocations/Good Shepherd Sunday, 30 April 2023. The Council for Vocations of the Bishops’ Conference has organised this year to promote vocations to the diocesan priesthood. The year-long awareness campaign will open on 25 April, the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. On this date a special conference, entitled ‘Evangelization and Vocation’ in Maynooth. The keynote address for the conference will be delivered by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Pro-Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Evangelisation. Over the twelve-month period, it is planned to host events in parishes and at pilgrim sites around the country, and to provide resources for homes and schools.

Next 30 April also marks the 60th anniversary of the initiation of the annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations, instituted by Saint Pope Paul VI in 1963 during the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

Bishop Cullinan concluded: “in 2023, answering God’s call to journey as a priest is a counter-cultural and courageous decision. Future priests need support to discern their vocation. I encourage any man who seeks to explore their calling to priestly ministry to make contact today with their local priest or diocesan vocations director. They would also be very welcome to attend our special conference next month when Archbishop Rino Fisichella will open the Year of Vocations to speak on ‘Diocesan Priesthood in a Synodal Church’.”