If you have a vocation, talk to a priest
One of the largest Catholic dioceses in Ireland, the Diocese of Killaloe, has announced a year-long initiative to encourage men to consider joining the priesthood.
A multimedia promotional campaign across counties Clare, Limerick, Tipperary, Offaly and Laois is underway, and visits to parishes across the Diocese of Killaloe commence this coming weekend in Ennis, followed by visits to Nenagh, Birr and Castleconnell next month.
With just over half of the 58 parishes in the diocese currently served by a resident priest, Vocations Director Father Iggy McCormack says there is hope the three vocations recorded in the Diocese of Killaloe during the past 12 months can be built upon during this national ‘Year for Vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood’, which runs until Good Shepherd Sunday in April 2024.
Father McCormack said, “Geographically, we are the third largest diocese in the country and is it has become increasingly difficult to maintain full cover across the five counties due to retirements and a lower number of vocations. The idea of young men taking up a vocation has arguably become more countercultural in recent years, but we are very hopeful that we can build on recent progress whereby three men from the Diocese will enter the seminary at Maynooth over the next 12 months.”
Father McCormack, who also is Principal of Saint Flannan’s College in Ennis, said the vocations initiative will encourage people to discover more about vocations on the diocesan website, while the parish church visits are aimed at kickstarting conversations within family groups, with local priests and in communities across the diocese on the vocation of priesthood.
Father McCormack, continued, “I am encouraging any man who has been considering a vocation and is exploring their calling to make contact today with the Vocations Office or to speak with their local priest. Most newly ordained priests will comment on how the encouragement and counsel they received from their local priest greatly assisted in commencing their journey to priestly ministry.”
Ennis native Mark Nestor, a former secondary school teacher and Clare County Councillor, entered the National Seminary at Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth, last week having spent the past year at the Royal English College of Saint Alban in Valladolid, Spain.
Mark said, "Answering yes to my vocation to priesthood has resulted in a great sense of contentment in my life. The support I have received from family, friends and the Diocese of Killaloe over the last two years has been phenomenal. I would encourage anyone who feels they have a vocation to priesthood to reach out and talk about their vocation."
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