Vocation is not a matter of brilliance or giftedness; vocation is a matter of dedication and love, Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell has said.
Speaking at the 40th anniversary celebrations of St Kilian’s Church in Tallaght, Archbishop Farrell said that in recent decades some in the Church have become concerned over the small number of candidates offering themselves for priesthood.
“Since a vocation to the priesthood and religious life is sustained by the wider faith community, there is need for all the baptised to pray that the Lord will open hearts to hear and respond to his call,” he said.
In his homily, Archbishop Farrell stressed that a vocation must not remain static but must grow constantly. “Our call is constantly unfolding,” he said and warned against “a fossilised, encrusted ‘vocation’” that is no longer fully alive.
Highlighting the importance of ongoing discernment, the Archbishop said this was vital for the development of the Church’s mission. “Good shepherds are open to new ways, and responsive to changing terrain,” he said.
Separately the Archdiocese of Dublin is looking at significant changes in the running of some of its parishes in order to offset the withdrawal of some religious orders from the parishes they administer due to an aging profile.
In June, the Augustinians leave Rivermount parish in Finglas after 36 years. This year’s clerical appointments for Dublin indicates that diocesan priests will take over the running of the parish on a shared basis in conjunction with other parishes in the locality.
The Augustinians are also to withdraw from the inner-city parish of Meath Street, while the Carmelites are leaving two other Dublin parishes.
Last January, Archbishop Farrell told The Tablet that the diocese was confronting “immense challenges”. He said that there was “no pre-packaged plan to address the reality in which we find ourselves”.