Showing posts with the label priesthood

'Repent . . . and follow me.' Sunday Reflections, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Calling of Peter and Andrew Duccio di Buoninsegna [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelMark 1:14-20 (New Revised  Standard Version, Anglicised CatholicEdition)
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and …

'My Lord and my God!' Sunday Reflections, Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy), Year A

Year A
The Apostle St Thomas, El Greco 

Readings(New American Bible)  Readings (Jerusalem Bible)
GospelJohn 20:19-31(NRSV, Catholic Ed.)

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the n…

Columban Fr Vincent Batchelor RIP

Fr Vincent Batchelor died in Box Hill Hospital in Melbourne on 28 May at around 5:30pm in his 96th year. He had been living in Nazareth Care Camberwell, under the care of the Sisters of Nazareth. Camberwell is a suburb of Melbourne. Father Vincent had a fall after which the staff decided to send him to hospital for observation. The doctor suspected that the fall was brought on by a heart attack. He had been visited by his sister Mary and niece and Fr Ray Scanlon who kept in constant contact with him and with Fr Gary Walker, the Regional Director of the Columbans in Australia and New Zealand, that afternoon. He died shortly after they left.

Vincent Batchelor had little interest in money or possessions and once sold his car after a
cyclone in Fiji to buy food and essentials for people who had lost everything. He was clear in his desire to be a missionary, always willing to accept whatever appointment was asked of him. He was childlike in the best sense and God’s word was revealed in hi…

Oops, Your Vocation Is Showing!

November 1-7, 2015 is National Vocation Awareness Week. I'm not sure local bakeries are stocking up on vocation-themed pastries, but that won't stop us from praying!

The USCCB has a page dedicated to National Vocation Awareness Week, complete with a news release, homily helps, and prayers from several dozen dioceses to get us going.

This is how the USCCB describes the vocation-awareness phenomenon:

“National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.”

But is the USCCB leaving something OUT? Join me at Praying with Grace!

A Vocation Story

Only the best for God

I spent most of high school and college assuming I would never marry or have children. God had set
me on fire with faith, and I wanted to give him my absolute best. In Catholic terms, as far as I knew, that meant entering religious life.

For a couple of years I attended campus ministry meetings for wanna-be nuns and priests, and my weekends were often scheduled with "come and see" retreats at various religious communities.

And then I met a guy. . . .
This guy, David, was different from others I had dated. He loved life, he loved God, and he knew God wanted him to be a father.
Please join me for the rest at Praying with Grace.

'I know my own and my own know me.' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

FromThe Gospel of John(2003) directed by Philip SavilleToday's Gospel, John 10:11-18 [1:19 - 2:30] Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.No one takesit from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” Fr Bar…

All This for Even ONE Vocation

The Social Media Coordinator of Ascension Press wondered if I would share a video entitled "I Will Follow" to get young men excited about the priesthood. It is part of their larger Mass education program called "Altaration" which they have designed specifically for teens. Ascension has already attracted over 100k views on Facebook for their videos. I loved it. + When I agreed to post it, I was delighted with their Social Media Coordinator's response.I will end this short post with his words ringing in your mind, heart and prayers. Awesome! If we get even one vocation from this project we will consider it a success.
Watch  their short film calling young men to consider the priesthood. See why it has already received over 95k views. Learn more about the project at

Helping Kids Discern a Vocation

(Excerpt is reprinted with permission from All Things Guy: A Guide to Becoming a Man that Matters)

Have you ever been in a religion class or in Church and Father asks you to think about a vocation? Do you get the feeling you want to crawl in a hole and disappear, fearing he will ask you to become a priest?
A vocation is a call from God. It’s not merely a career choice. Everyone, everyone, everyone has a calling from God!
The word vocation refers to three different things: 1.Vocation comes with baptism. It’s a call to know, love and serve God in your life. 2.Vocation also means, “state in life,” such as priesthood, religious life, marriage or single life. 3.Vocation also means a personal relationship you have with Jesus. It’s you, yourself, trying to know, love, and serve God.

read more here

A tribute to a deceased priest-uncle

St Augustine Washing the Feet of the Redeemer, Guercino
Tomorrow I will concelebrate the Chrism Mass in San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod City, with Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, whose Golden Jubilee of ordination to the priesthood falls on Holy Saturday. We will celebrate that on Easter Monday in the Cathedral.
During the Chrism Mass the priests renew their commitment in the presence of the bishop and of the people.
My brother alerted me to a beautiful tribute by rugby correspondent Matt Williams in yesterday's Irish Times to a recently deceased priest-uncle, Fr Brian Ryan of the Archdiocese of Sydney,Let's hear it for the Uncle Brians of this world. Fr Ryan, the son of Irish immigrants, was 85. His death led his nephew to reflect on his uncle's vocation to the priesthood. The sports section of a daily newspaper is not where you'd expect to find a reflection on the vocation of the priest! You can read my full post here.

'Come and see'. Sunday Reflections, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

St AndrewFrancois Duquesnoy, 1629-33
This Sunday is observed in the Philippines as the Feast of the Santo Niño or Holy Child. You can find the Sunday Reflections for that feast here.
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Gospel John 1:35-42 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
As John stood with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God.’ Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher – ‘where do you live?’ ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour.
One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him…

44th Ordination Anniversary

The graves of martyrs in front of the Pietá in Regina Martyrum (Queen of Martyrs) Church near Plotenzee Prison, Berlin, where many were executed by the Nazis, includingFr Alfred Delp SJ.
Today is the 44th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, my native city. Three days ago I posted aboutFr Alfred Delp SJ, martyred by the Nazis on 2 February 1945. While doing research for that I came across a sermon he gave on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, one of a series on the Seven Sacraments in Munich in the autumn of 1941. I found it on thewebsite of The Ignatius Press.
From the website of The Ignatius Press
Here is the text of the sermon with some partshighlighted and[comments]added.
Holy Orders | by Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J. | Preached in Munich, Autumn 1941

"Let the grace that is in you through the laying on of hands be rekindled." (2 Timothy 1:8)

...First: In that great moment of our life when we go to be ordained,we kneel before the bishop and …

'Engineer brothers down tools for life in the priesthood'

Fr James Doyle, Fr Brian Doyle OP, Bro Rory Doyle OFMConv
The photo above, courtesy of the Irish Dominicans, was taken on Saturday 3 September in Murrintown, County Wexford, in the south-west of Ireland, when Father Brian was ordained priest by Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns. His brother Father James (Jim) is a priest in the Diocese of Ferns, which includes most of County Wexford, and his twin Brother Rory is also preparing for the priesthood as a Conventual Franciscan.
The three brothers are featured in today's Irish Independent: Engineer brothers down tools for life in the priesthood. The twins have doctorates in engineering. Father Jim worked with the Irish agency Concern in Cambodia and Burundi and found his vocation there.
Father Brian with his parents Joan and Brian senior (Irish Dominican Vocations)
Ten years ago I did mission appeals on behalf of the Columbans in the Diocese of Lancaster in the north-west of England. I met two of the three Burns brothers who, like the Doyle bro…

50 years with the Columbans

Fr Aedan McGrath
On the first Tuesday of September 1961 - the date was the 5th - I and more than 40 other young men entered St Columban's College, Dalgan Park, Navan, about 40 kms north-west of my native Dublin, hoping to be Columban priests one day and heading off to Chile, Fiji, Japan, Korea, Peru or the Philippines about seven years later. As it happened, some were to find their way to Pakistan, which became a Columban mission in 1978 along with Taiwan.
I was then 18 but since I was 14 had wanted to be a missionary priest. I decided on the Columbans when I was 16 but had to wait to do my Leaving Certificate. I went to Dalgan Park in Easter Week 1961 to be interviewed and have a medical examination. I was very happy when accepted. Then I had to get a black suit, some white shirts and a black tie, not to mention a black hat, required in those days.

One thing was niggling me: what would my parents think if I ever decided to leave? The term 'spoiled priest', someone who left t…

Death of heroic Irish priest 94 years ago today in The Great War

Fr William Doyle SJ 3 March 1873 - 16 August 1917
This account of Father Willie Doyle's death in Ypres/Ieper, Belgium, while serving as a chaplain in the British Army during The Great War is from Father William Doyle S.J. by Professor Alfred O'Rahilly and taken from the blog Remembering Father William Doyle SJ. Fr Doyle was from Dalkey, County Dublin.

Fr. Doyle had been engaged from early morning in the front line, cheering and consoling his men, and attending to the many wounded. Soon after 3 p.m. he made his way back to the Regimental Aid Post which was in charge of a Corporal Raitt, the doctor having gone back to the rear some hours before. Whilst here word came in that an officer of the Dublins had been badly hit, and was lying out in an exposed position. Fr. Doyle at once decided to go out to him, and left the Aid Post with his runner, Private Mclnespie, and a Lieutenant Grant. Some twenty minutes later, at about a quarter to four, Mclnespie staggered into the Aid Post and …

Prayers for Priests....Please!

A Priest’s Prayer Loving Father, I praise you, I love you, I adore you. Send your Holy Spirit to enlighten my mind to the truth of your Son, Jesus, Priest and Victim. Through the same Spirit guide my heart to his Sacred Heart, to renew in me a priestly passion that I, too, might lay down my life upon the altar. May your Spirit wash away my impurities and free me from all my transgressions in the Cup of Salvation, Let only your will be done in me. May the Blessed Mother of your dearly beloved Son, wrap her mantle around me and protect me from all evil. May she guide me to do whatever He tells me. May she teach me to have the heart of St. Joseph, her spouse, to protect and care for my bride. And may her pierced heart inspire me to embrace as my own your children who suffer at the foot of the cross. I humbly cry to her: please be my consoling mother, and help me to be a better son. Lord, make me a holy priest, inflamed with the fire of your love, seeking nothing but your greater glory and the salvation of souls. I…

'Let them both grow till the harvest. . .' Sunday Reflections. 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, 17 July 2011

The Gleaners, Jean-François Millet, painted 1857 Readings(New American Bible, used in the Philippines and USA)
Gospel, Matthew 13:24-43 (Jerusalem Bible, used in Australia, England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland)
Jesus put a parable before the crowds, 'The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner's servants went to him and said, "Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?" "Some enemy has done this" he answered. And the servants said, "Do you want us to go and weed it out?" But he said, "No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundl…