Prayer services held at Clonmacnoise, St Brigid’s Well in Kildare, and Glendalough, were described as a return to Christian roots, by Vocations Ireland, which organised it.
At Glendalough a group of around 100 people took part in a walk with pauses for reflection, to St Saviour’s Church.
“Within the ruins of the church we prayed renewing our calling, not just religious calling but all callings,” Sr Eileen Linehan, Vocations Ireland told ciNews.
There were prayers, songs, and moments of quiet at the evening event that has been held for the last five years.
“People get used to going to churches for services so it is nice to get out into the open air, and get into the spirit of the place in the quiet of the evening after the visitors have gone. These sites have a lot to offer,” she explained.
She was just back from a careers fair in Donegal with transition year students in attendance.
A lot of the students were interested in missionary volunteer programmes to join for six months or so after college/training and before they start working.
“We are sowing seeds with people this young. We go to a lot of effort to get people to consider religious life as an option.”
“They will be in their mid 20s - 30s when they come to join an order, they are thinking about it for five years or more. So when people say to us people are joining because of the recession it’s not true because generally people are contemplating it for several years,” says Eileen Linehan.
She hopes to be able to organise a vocations pilgrimage to Caminio de Compostela next year and attract a younger age group who might like a longer walk and a challenge.
The Vocations Ireland website and phone line has been going well with a lot of calls from young men and not as many from women.
Eileen feels that this might be because the men work through Vocations Ireland office and whereas women often get in touch with the religious orders directly.SIC: CNA