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Church announces three-year vocations drive

By on Friday, 27 April 2012

The National Office for Vocations has announced the start of an “ambitious” three-year National Vocations Framework.

Fr Christopher Jamison, Director of the National Office for Vocations, made the announcement today at a press conference at the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales headquarters in London.

He said that the framework would be inspired by the question Pope Benedict XVI asked young people at the Big Assembly in September 2010: “What sort of person would you like to be?”

Fr Jamison said that the aim of the three-year project would be “to help every community” ensure that “every young Catholic person in their area has access to a discernment group and discernment guide”.

Discernment groups, which meet in parishes in one Sunday of every month, give people a chance to talk about their vocation, and many people feel them useful. The number of discernment groups in London has recently increased fourfold.

Fr Jamison added that they would be training a national network of vocations guides so that they could move “from local good practice to national good practice”.

The Bishops of England and Wales adopted the framework at their April 2012 plenary meeting, and Fr Jamison said it would “relate to other work in the pipeline”.

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark also praised the young people of the Church, who were far more numerous than was sometimes reported. He also said that young people got a bad deal from the media.

“The media too often [it] criticises youngsters, use the worst possible cases,” he says. “Young people feel they are not appreciated. There are a lot of good, valued members of society.”

  • Benedict Carter

    Well, this is a piece of good news. Please God many young men will be enabled in these awful times of distraction and siren voices to hear God’s call, and find through this new system the support and discernment that will lead them to answer it. 

  • Mikethelionheart

    Good news seems to getting more and more common.

    Praise God.

  • Lindi

    I’m a little confused – I don’t think this is a call to the priesthood / religious life ,  is it ?  I keep reading on Catholic websites statements such as ‘Everyone has a vocation ‘. Well , this is true but what we desperately need are good and holy men to become priests. The aim of this three-tear project is not aiming to encourage this – as one can gather from the report above.

  • Benedict Carter

    The worm is thinking about turning, perhaps even moving a tiny bit. The days of the neo-Modernist wreckers have passed, but my God! are they going to fight as they go down.

  • JabbaPapa

    Most vocations are not to the priesthood nor the religious life no — but a total lack of any encouragement towards even thinking about life in terms of vocation is a diametric opposite.

  • Lindi

    I meant to say ‘ three-year’ but maybe tears are needed ! I often think that we don’t really entreat God to raise up priests – if we did I think He would answer us with a Yes !

  • Lindi

    I don’t disagree with you – think of Newman’s words ‘ God has created me to do Him some definite service……’ ( It’s on the little card given out recently to Catholics in parishes ).
    I don’t want to be negative about the idea , but I just have a feeling it’ll be a bit woolly – just a general agreement that we can serve God in many ways !  The bishops in the U.S. released an inspiring dvd aimed at young men several years ago. It is called Fishers of Men. It is on youtube – would provide the link if I knew how ! The thing is , I have never come across anything similar in this country. I think it was very successful in firing the vocations of many guys in America.

  • Adam

    When talking about Vocations we MUST focus upon the most damaged Vocation of all; marriage. Many, many marriages break down now, getting close to 50%, the vast majority, over 90%, use contraception, and those adults are unable to teach their children the Faith. Focus on this Vocation and the rest will naturally follow .

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    “Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark ………………..
    “He also said that young people got a bad deal from the media.”

    “The media too often [it] criticises youngsters, use the worst possible
    cases,” he says. “Young people feel they are not appreciated. There are a
    lot of good, valued members of society.”

    VERY TRUE!

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    WHEN FAMILIES ARE CARED FOR, CALL TO FOLLOW JESUS WILL ABOUND.
    BISHOPS SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO THIS FACT.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    LOOK AT THE WAY JESUS RECRUITED AND TRAINED HIS TWELVE. THEY WERE NOT MERE PRIESTS, ABOVE ALL THEY WERE APOSTLES.

    ST. PAUL WAS NOT FROM THIS GROUP OF TWELVE AND YET HE IS  CONSIDERED RIGHTLY THE GREATEST OF ALL APOSTLES.

    IN APOSTLESHIP PRIESTHOOD WOULD SHINE THE MOST. LET US STRESS APOSTLESHIP NOT PRIESTHOOD. IF THIS IS DONE WE SHALL HAVE THE BEST OF PRIESTS AS WELL.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    “Discernment groups, which meet in parishes in one Sunday of every month,
    give people a chance to talk about their vocation, and many people feel
    them useful. The number of discernment groups in London has recently
    increased fourfold.”

    THIS IS VERY GOOD NEWS!

    WHY NOT BISHOPS ALL OVER THE WORLD FOLLOW SUIT?

    CONSULTING THE LORD IS THE BEST WORD IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S  OWN WORD.

  • Benedict Carter

    Be very careful Father of this “People of God” label. It is used by the progressives as a banner for Church “democracy” (= the furthering of their homosexual / neo-Protestant agenda. It is a new concept in the Church’s life and to be viewed with great suspicion.

  • Jae

    Agreed. When the liberals and gay activists use the word “tolerance” meaning that they don’t tolerate people who disagree with their behavioral dysfunction. Also the the question, “What would Jesus do?” meaning they think they speak for God of whatever their idea of God is in their own image.

  • Jae

    Father what exactly do you mean by, “too much control of sexual life of marriage people?” Are you referring to the Church’s teaching on the immorality of artificial contraception? Hopefully not because it’s primarily the reason for the collapse of morality in the western world that ushered in the perverse sexual revolution, pornography, free sex, abortion and gay movements. Humane Vitae is a wonderful Apostolic letter that is very prophetic.

  • Jae

    Oh yes Lindi, I’m from California and I tell you there is a huge boooom of people converting and returning to the Church and they are on fire! Primarily because of the recent conversion and reversion of high caliber intellectual Protestant scholars in the past 20 years with the likes of Cardinal John Henry Newman and Chesterton. The use of modern media tools like blogging in helping to spread and proclaim the truth to inspire young and old people alike from different faith affilations back to the Catholic Faith, fidelity to the Church’s teaching and the Pope as pillar of Truth not found in the winds of secularism and liberalism that are infecting their denominations.

    Google “Called to Communion” and see for yourself the quality and fidelity to the Church of these converts.

  • ALondonCatholic

    Lindi, there has been recently released an inspiring DVD aimed at young men and the call to priesthood here in Britain. Some have argued that it is even better than Fishers of Men! The DVD, named “The Calling,” includes a number of priests and seminarians giving honest down to earth comments on celibacy and the importance of fidelity to Church teaching.

    This is a perfect resource for schools and parishes and has been released this year to coincide with the Invocation 2012 festival taking place later this summer. The festival is great celebration of young vocations which takes place in the historic grounds of St. Mary’s College, Oscott. With such great new horizons there is most certainly hope for future generations here in Britain.

  • ConOfChi

     Thanks for the “Called to Communion” link

  • Lindi

    That is good news !

  • Jae

    Welcome, I’m dealing with a lot of Protestants and trying to show them the errors and logical unattainability of their “Bible alone and Faith Alone” doctrines, and one of the best article I have found is by Dr. Bryan Cross and Dr. Neil Judistch on the subject of , “Who holds the Interpretive Authority?”

    Google “Called to communion interpretive authority” it would bring you directly to the article.

    Pax et Bonum.

  • Lindi

    ALondonCatholic  regarding the DVD  ” The Calling ” – from where can schools and parishes buy it ?  BTW Invocation 2012 looks good.

  • ALondonCatholic

    Hi Lindi, if you send an email over to the Southwark Vocations Office you should be able to enquire with them how to purchase the DVD.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    “PEOPLE OF GOD” YES.

    DEMOCRACY IN THE CHURCH? AS SUCH NO. BUT MAY BE TOLERATED WHEN THERE IS NOTHING BETTER IN PRACTICE.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    TOO MUCH TEACHING ABOUT SEX MAKE PEOPLE GUILTY ABOUT SEX ITSELF. HOW CAN GOOD
    CHILDREN BE BORN THEN? HOW CAN HUSBAND AND WIFE ENJOY THE GOD-GIVEN GIFT OF SEX
    AND BE HAPPY AND BE GRATEFUL TO GOD?

    THE OFFICIAL TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH LIKE HUMANE VITAE IS THE PURE GUIDING
    LIGHT. “Humane Vitae is a wonderful  Apostolic letter that is very prophetic.”
    RIGHT.

    THE REASON FOR THE COLLAPSE OF MORALITY AND CHRISTIAN LIFE IN THE WEST IS MORE
    BASICALLY DUE TO THE SCANDALOUS LIFE OF…………(NATURALISM?)
    WHICH IN TURN IS BLAMED  QUIETLY ON THE CHURCH (THE OFFICIAL INSTITUTIONAL
    CHURCH). THIS IS DONE BY PEOPLE WHO FEEL TRAPPED…., WHO FEEL THEY ARE MADE
    HELPLESS…BUT HAVE PLENTY OF WORLDLY WEALTH TO DO WHAT THEY WANT AND TO LIVE THE WAY THEY WANT. ADDED TO THEY HAVE ALSO A PHILOSOPHY TO SUPPORT THEIR WAY OF LIFE.

    A GOOD CONSCIENCE, UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IS RIGHT AND JUST, GOOD OR EVIL,
    GROWING IN FAITH, THE KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH IN PRACTICAL LIFE AND OF GOD HIMSELF BASICALLY
    COME FROM SPIRITUAL MEDITATION AND  INGESTION OF THE WORD OF GOD. THE LAW OF THE
    LORD IS IN THE WORD OF GOD. SPIRITUAL MEDITATION ON IT BRINGS WISDOM OF GOD.
    THE SACRAMENTS THEMSELVES GET THEIR WORTH FROM GOD’S WORD.

    WHEN THE PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD OF GOD IS RITUALISED THERE IS NEED OF TOO
    MUCH TEACHING. TEACHING BECOMES THE PRIMARY OCCUPATION OF THE “LEARNED AND
    THE CLEVER”, WHO MAY PROJECT THEMSELVES AS TRUE SERVANTS OF THE WORD MADE
    FLESH. BUT THERE  MAY NOT BE ANYTHING MUCH TO INSPIRE, TO GIVE INSIGHT OR
    TO IMPART REVELATION. IN THE CHURCHES
    PEOPLE SIT ON  PEWS AND SLEEP OR STAND
    OUTSIDE THE CHURCH UNTIL,  WHAT THEY CALL, HOMILY OR SERMON IS OVER. YOUNG PEOPLE  STOP COMING TO THE CHURCH.

    PEOPLE FIND OUT IN THE LONG RUN HOW THE SALT HERE IS SO “WORTHLESS”
    AND IT IS THROWN OUT AND IS “TRAMPLED UPON …..” REMEMBER
    JESUS’  OWN WORDS ON THIS SUBJECT!

    BIG CHRISTIAN CHURCHES WHICH DO NOT GIVE FOUNDATIONAL IMPORTANCE TO THE PROCLAMATION
    OF THE WORD OF GOD  AND APOSTLESHIP (THESE KEEP ON DRUMMING ABOUT PRIESTHOOD!) DIE  A NATURAL DEATH.

    EVEN THE EUCHARIST IS WHAT IT
    IS: THE BODY OF THE LORD, BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF GOD. MERE RITUAL READING OR PROCLAMATION
    OF THE WORD OF GOD CANNOT  INSPIRE THE PEOPLE  TO GROW IN LOVE AND FAITH. NO WONDER IF
    PEOPLE MOVE OUT OF  SUCH BIG CHRISTIAN
    CHURCHES.

  • Fprien

     I’m suspicious…anyone can claim to be
    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal…

  • JByrne24

    What is the conclave of cardinals who elect a new Holy Father if it is not democracy?

  • JByrne24

    “….these awful times of distraction and siren voices to hear God’s call….”……..
    ……. as divined by Mr Carter. (Well, naturally!)

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    THE TYPICAL EXAMPLE FOR THE CHURCH TO FOLLOW IS NOT DEMOCRACY BUT THE COUNCIL UNDER ST. PETER WHEN PROBLEMS AROSE LIKE DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD AMONG THE WIDOWS: JEWISH AND GREEK.

    WHEN TOO MUCH RELATIVISATION OF CHRIST THE LORD AND THE INHERITANCE WE HAVE FROM HIM TAKES PLACE THROUGH PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT TRUE APOSTLES BUT POLITICIANS THE SPIRIT OF THE PHARISEES COMES TO RULE AND THE CHURCH BECOMES UNRECOGNISABLE FROM WORLDLY ENTITIES.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    poovamfuture@yahoo.com (not for all)

  • Peter

    The role of the Church is to save souls and the Gospel tells us that salvation comes from helping the seriously poor.  Whereas the Church does much, there are still more than 20,000 children under five who die every day due to malnutrition, poor sanitation, and lack of basic medicine.  It is plain that the Church could do more, especially in the rich West.

    Not only are young people shunning vocations, but they are in fact leaving the Church in droves because they are not being inspired by the Church.

    Many, but not all, Christian parishes in the UK give too much attention to the raising of funds for their own benefit instead of prioritising the needs of the third world.  The Church has lost its mission of reckless self-abandonment and self-sacrifice in pursuit of the needs of the poor, and has settled down in many cases to be a comfortable self-serving and inward-looking social club for mature adults.  This is of little interest to the young.

    Until clergy from the top down take a strong lead and passionately force through a programme of awareness of the unacceptable suffering of the third world, it is difficult to see how young people can be inspried to remain in the Church, let alone pursue a vocation.

  • Jae

    No democracy in the Church meaning the Doctrines of the Church that bind christians are not subject to majority vote.

  • Benedict Carter

    The suffering of many poorer countries is caused directly by the rapacity of their leaders and bureaucracies. It’s an unfortunate fact that helping their peoples – which I totally agree we are bound to do – won’t change the nature of the problem, which will continue for as long as these venal men hold onto power. 

  • https://openid.org/locutus LocutusOP

     We can all do more to help, but unless we have good moral foundations, our ‘help’ could do more harm than good, and there’s plenty of evidence for this.

    However, the Gospel doesn’t tell us that salvation comes from helping the “seriously poor” – whatever that means. It tells us that we’ll have to answer if we don’t, and that helping the poor is one aspect of doing God’s will, but only by doing all of God’s will can we attain salvation…The Church cannot afford to be seen as another humanitarian organisation among many, so it needs to put its mission of saving souls up front and centre always.

    I agree that we do need people to be more aware of how their decisions affect other countries but whether the clergy should take the lead in that is an entirely different matter….They have enough on their plates as it is which is why we need more of them.

  • Peter

    The Chatechism is drawn from the Gospel and in CCC1033 it says:

    “Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren”

    In CCC1038 there is an extract from a sermon by St Augustine which describes what Our Lord would say to the goats at his left hand on Judgement Day:

    “Would you have known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treaury.  But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence.”

  • https://openid.org/locutus LocutusOP

     Nothing still about salvation coming from helping the “seriously poor”.

    I didn’t deny that helping the less fortunate is an indisposable tenet of Christianity, only pointing out that it is not the central tenet.

  • Simon Davies

    There is certainly a crisis of baptism. Christians do not really understand how to live their baptismal vocation: I believe this is the root of the so-called ‘crises of vocations’ that exist in the priesthood and marriage. Might I go so far as to suggest these is not a ‘crisis of priesthood’? New priests are faithful and orthodox; and there are certainly enough priests to serve the rump who live their baptismal vocation faithfully: priests exist to enable Christians live their baptismal vocation to the full, after all!

    It’s dangerous to put all our eggs in one basket. Yes, there are lots of crises; no one is more critical that the other, however. I don’t have the answers, unlike, it seems, most commentators, but it’s a just a thought. 

  • jiejie

    iloveshopper.com

  • Paddy

    This is really excellent news.  I’ve been trying to do discernment for religious life for several years and could find no guidance locally at all.  I couldn’t even find a spiritual director with experience of religious life.  There were certainly no discernment groups.  In the end I resigned my job and relocated to a different part of the country in order to take part in Worth Abbey’s Compass programme.  This was a hugely life giving experience.  It affirmed the worth of every participant and nurtured everyone, including those who decided religious life wasn’t for them.  Doing what they do at Worth is a very skilled task and it is super that training and guidance will be given for leaders.  I am really, really delighted that the Bishops of England and Wales are lending their support to this.  People should be able to do this early stage of discernment without making sacrifices such as resigning jobs.  Come on Scotland- you should be doing this too!