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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Friday, April 27, 2012
Vocations Sunday 4th Sunday of Easter. (29th April)
Today is the 49th World Day of Prayer for Vocations; a special day of prayer for vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life instituted by Pope Paul VI in 1964. Pope John Paul in an Encyclical Letter in 1992 reminded us that God told the prophet Jeremiah: “I will give you shepherds after my own heart” (Jer 3:15) but then Jesus himself also said, as he sent out 70 disciples ahead of him: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest” (Lk 10:2). So our first duty is to pray for vocations to the priesthood. This coming Friday is the First Friday of May, so why not make an extra special effort this coming Friday (4th May) and come and spend an hour before the Blessed Sacrament at our 7:00 pm Holy Hour where we will pray especially for this intention. We need priests, because without priests we will have no sacraments. The Curé of Ars (St John Vianney) was fond of saying: “Priests are not priests for themselves, but for you”. The good news is there has been an increase in the number of seminarians at Allen Hall (our diocesan seminary) every year for the last six years, including our own Martin Plunkett and Tony Thomas. However we cannot relax as there are many priests approaching retirement age (which for priests is not 65, but 75 years of age!) But what makes people give their life in total service to God in the service of others? Pope Benedict, in his message for this Sunday, urges us all “to create the conditions that will permit many young people to say ‘yes’ in generous response to God’s loving call.” And in the family setting this will come from the experience of living in a family where they see self-giving love and forgiveness in action. The old saying ‘A family that prays together, stays together’ will always be true. Mother Teresa of Calcutta expanded it by saying: “The family that prays together stays together; and if you stay together, you will love one another with the same love with which God loves each one of us.” But there is also the reality that formation for the priesthood costs money, so in addition to your prayers we ask you to be as generous as you can in the retiring collection. If you pay tax, then sign the gift aid part of the envelope, and we can recover a further 20% from the taxman. God will always reward a generous giver. Deacon Michael

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:05 am