Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Australia "hardest country for vocations"

On a visit to Peru, Sydney Cardinal George Pell highlighted the difficulty of finding vocations to the consecrated life in Australia, quoting a Missionaries of Charity sister's comment that it is "the hardest country to find vocations in."

Cardinal Pell also said he would like to see new Catholic communities change the direction of the country, Catholic News Agency reports.

He made his comments during a Mass celebrating the 18th anniversary of the Marian Fraternity of Reconciliation, an association of the Sodalite Movement, made up of consecrated women (called Fraternas) and founded in 1991 in Peru. The Fraternity is present today in the Americas, Europe and Australia.

"One of the missionaries of Mother Teresa of Calcutta told me once that Australia was the hardest country in the world to find vocations in. For several decades many religious congregations in Australia have not received a single new vocation," the cardinal said.

"I hope and pray that the strictly lay vocation of the Fraternas to work in the world at the service of God and the Church provides an opening and leads to a necessary change in the direction of my country. I ask all of you, gathered here tonight, to pray for the Church in Australia, that we may be open to discerning ever more the will of God and fulfilling it with greater fidelity," he added.

The cardinal thanked God and the leaders of the Marian Fraternity of Reconciliation for their presence in Sydney.

"The gift of our own freedom leads us to be conscious of the effort we should make to cooperate with the divine Will," Cardinal Pell said.

"Certainly none of us has deserved the mission that God has entrusted to us through Baptism. He is the one who has called us to serve him, whether in marriage or in the consecrated life, whether in the priesthood, in leadership as committed laity, in the religious life or as a bishop.

"Each one of us should thank God for our particular vocation, being aware that the ways of the Lord are mysterious; sometimes difficult and even hard to accept at the beginning," he said.

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(Source: CTHN)

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