“While the bishop has the first responsibility for the pastoral work of fostering vocations, he cannot act alone,” said Monsignor Dermot Farrell, President of St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
Monsignor Farrell was speaking to Cinews on the occasion of the ordination to the Diaconate of nine students from St Patrick’s College, which took place Pentecost Sunday.
Parish communities and in particular the Parish Pastoral Council are crucially important in fostering vocations, he said.
“Perhaps ways could be found to encourage such Councils to take on some responsibility for identifying potential candidates for the priesthood, and of taking steps to ensure that some approach is made to them,” he told Cinews.
“Pastoral care of vocations at parish level consists essentially in letting young people begin to participate in a concrete and active manner in the life and mission of the parish."
“Today, Catholic youth organisations, liturgical groups and spirituality movements which cultivate lively contacts with the young acquire a particular importance. These groups constitute significant faith experiences, stimulate conversation, awaken a sense of God and initiate persons into a life of prayer and apostolic spirit,” he said.
Monsignor Farrell also stressed the importance of prayer, saying that the regular inclusion of a prayer for this intention in parish masses and the prayer of so many people in the church is an essential element in fostering vocations.
The College President said the ordination to the diaconate of the nine students Sunday was “a source of joy for the staff and students of the College”.
As newly-ordained deacons, the students will assist at the altar, administer the sacrament of Baptism, assist at and bless marriages, as well as perform several other functions in the name of the Church.
Eight men were ordained to the priesthood from Maynooth in 2006, eight in 2005 and eight in 2004.
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