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“Let your spirits rejoice in the mercy of God, and be not ashamed to give Him praise. Work at your tasks in due season, and in His own time
Issue 3, June 2009, Highlights:
Kimberley Community Profile
I am most grateful to the priests of this Diocese and those from elsewhere who have been helping to supply Mass and Sacraments to Kununurra, Wyndham, Halls Creek and their associated remote communities. It has not been easy for the people, the Principals of our schools and the Pastoral Associates from those Parishes either and I appreciate their patience with the situation. This is a good moment to speak about vocations to the priesthood and the shortage of priests our parishes are presently suffering.
What do we need to do about the shortage of vocations? What can we do about it? The first thing we must do is to name this insufficiency for what it is. The shortage of priests is due to a crisis of faith and it is not a peculiarly Catholic problem either as similar circumstances are lamented in Protestant denominations. At a time when every society on earth is suffering a major cultural upheaval, western nations are being especially affected, ours included. People are regularly and falsely encouraged to aspire to the heights of material acquisition much to the detriment of an uncomplicated life driven by Christian spiritual values. That the call to ministry too often falls on deaf ears is no surprise in these secular times.
Pope John Paul’s New Evangelization is a call to the Church to renew itself, to become more like Christ. It is a call to authenticity, encouraging us to live dedicated lives as followers of Christ. In this context the church of the Apostles as recorded in Acts demands our urgent attention. Three aspects of their lives distinguished the believers in that early community in faith: Firstly, they were united in mind and heart. They identified as believers, convinced followers of Jesus the Christ. They were bound together by prayer and they met for the breaking of the bread, an action that drew them profoundly to a communion with the divine and with each other. Their hearts were restless for God as they strived to help each other to be brothers and sisters under the sign of the cross.
We will have an increase in vocations to the priesthood when we pray for vocations, when we endeavour to act justly and when we courageously say who we are and what we believe. When we are content to present ourselves as a people who yearn for unity in Christ instead of being peddlers of negativity and division, when we acknowledge that justice is not an optional extra in the treasure-house of belief, when we act in concert boldly proclaiming the Good News as precisely that – then will the ground have been turned and the seed germinated that brings forth in abundance the vocations to the priesthood we so urgently need in order to become more fully the community to which God has called us.
"You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his own wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9
Prayer for Vocations