Saturday, July 29, 2006

Eucharistic Adoration

Our work in Southwark to promote vocations falls under three headings. We promote a Campaign of Prayer for priestly vocations; we try to make people aware of Christ's call; finally we try to have direct contact with as many people as possible.
Of these three the most important is the Campaign of Prayer. During the Year of the Rosary we printed forty thousand leaflets with special intentions for each of the Mysteries, including the new Mysteries of Light. These were very popular and recently we had an email from Australia asking permission to copy the leaflets - which of course we were very happy to give.
For the priests and religious of the diocese we printed Breviary Cards with a specific intercession at Morning and Evening Prayer for each day of the week. These intercessions can also be used at weekday Masses. We are also awaiting the delivery of Prayer Cards for the Sick to be distributed to all those in the diocese who receive Holy Communion in their homes.
Every parish in the diocese is asked to participate in the Campaign of Prayer in a special way by hosting Eucharistic Adoration for vocations. Currently about 60% of our parishes have agreed to take part although we hope the percentage will increase this year. I consider this Eucharistic Adoration to be the basis of everything we do and the reason for the increased interest we are beginning to see in priestly vocations among young men.
When Adoration takes place in a parish a number of things begin to happen. First of all, people are asking the Lord of the harvest to send the labourers we need. God always hears our prayers. They are never wasted. Secondly, when we come before the Blessed Sacrament we ar face to face with Jesus. If we open our hearts we will hear his call. Thirdly, regular Adoration affects even those who do not attend and whose faith may be confused: they are led to ask what it's all about. That desire to know disposes them to receive answers.
After Benediction this evening a lady asked me to pray for a special intention. "It needs a miracle", she said. Our Lord teaches us to ask for such miracles. Let's keep encouraging everyone we meet to ask the Lord for more priestly vocations.

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