Loading
Australia’s Vocations Awareness Week sees World Youth Day aftereffects
Fr. Michael De Stoop
Fr. Michael De Stoop
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The wake of World Youth Day has brought an increase in interest in religious vocations, as demonstrated in the response to Catholic Australia’s National Vocations Awareness Week.

Fr. Michael De Stoop, Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Sydney, said in a press release from the archdiocese that there has been a strong response from young people who want to know more about the life of a priest or a religious sister. There have also been inquiries about vocations in married and single life and vocations as a consecrated lay person.

One of the aims of National Awareness Vocations Week was to communicate to young people and their families the joy and deep happiness generated by living a religious life supported by the grace of God, Fr. Michael explained.

Fr. Michael said he believes the increase in interest in the priesthood and religious life is due to both the excitement and renewed faith generated by World Youth Day 2008 and the recent Vocations Expo in Martin Place which was part of the successful Sydney Congress Embracing the New Evangelism (SCENE).

At the July Vocations Expo, many young people filled out cards asking to know more about specific vocations. The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia reported more than ten requests from women wanting to know more about becoming a religious sister.

"This is a very big increase when you consider the annual number of those taking solemn vows as religious sisters within the Archdiocese over the past several years has seldom been more than one or two," Fr Michael said.

He suggested that the declining numbers of both priests and religious sisters, evident throughout the 1980s and 1990s, was due to an increasingly secular society. He said he and others in the Church believe this trend is now changing because young people search for a deeper meaning to their lives and turn to their faith to guide and give them sustenance.

The number of trainee priests at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd Homebush as more than tripled in recent years.

"When I entered St Patrick's College at Manly, which was operating in 1994 when I began my training, there were 39 students - and this number was the whole of New South Wales," Fr. Michael reported. "By my second year this number had dropped to 29 and by my third year, was down to just 19."

The Seminary of the Good Shepherd now has 42 seminarians in training for the priesthood not for the whole of New South Wales but for Sydney alone.

"Those from the Dioceses of Broken Bay, Wagga and other areas of NSW now either have their own Seminaries or train in Brisbane or Melbourne," Fr Michael explained.

In April four priests were ordained by Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney. These higher numbers are expected to be repeated over the next several years.

"A religious vocation is a happy and very fulfilling life and filled with joy," Fr Michael added. “While many outside the priesthood or religious orders imagine it is a life of sacrifice. But when you do something out of love it is never a sacrifice."

He said that he has never regretted his decision to become a diocesan priest, saying his vocation is inspiring, rewarding and constantly evolving.

As part of National Vocations Week, parishes and diocese will be provided with extensive resources and information to help those discerning a religious vocation. There will also be religious forums for schools across Australia to help students in school years seven to eleven learn more about life as a priest, religious sister or consecrated layman.

Clergy, vowed religious, consecrated laypersons and seminarians will lead the forums either for the entire school body or for individual classes. They will give individual testimonies about their particular vocations and how they live them out.

Australia’s National Vocations Awareness Week web site is at http://www.vocationcentre.org.au

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
25

Liturgical Calendar

October 25, 2014

Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 7-16
Gospel:: Lk 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/25/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Homily
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14