November 30, 2010 1 Comment
Is was sitting in a cafe a few nights ago with a few seminarians, having a quiet coffee after a busy weekend. It was a little late and most of the other guest were finishing their meals, paying bills and moving on.
After we had been there about 15mins a table near by started to leave, as the rather large group was reaching the door an elderly man, stoped and returned and came up to our table. As he approached he looked at me and in a thick Irish accent asked if I was a Catholic Priest? I said yes and his face lit up and he explained that he was in Australia visiting family, and would be returning to Ireland soon and how wonderful it was to see a ‘young’ Catholic Priest and that I should keep up the good work. He was equally happy when he realized that the two young men with me were seminarians.
After all the problems the Church in Ireland has faced in the past year, here was one man who was still overjoyed to see a Catholic Priest.
On Zenit today you can read a homily given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
We face real crisis of vocations to the priesthood. Last Saturday here in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral I remembered at Mass 20 priests who had ministered in the Archdiocese and who had died in the previous twelve months. A further dozen or so priests retired from active ministry in the same period. And yet in the past year I ordained just one new priest for the diocese.
Let us Pray for the Church in Ireland, that many young men will have the courage to head the call of Christ to the Priesthood, and that amidst adversity, pain and the occasional uncomfortable moment, the Priests of Ireland will be a visible sign of the Love of Christ for his people.