Monday, August 21, 2006

How old were you...?

We have a group of sixty-five language students staying in the parish at the moment. They have come with their own priest who celebrates Mass for them in Spanish after our parish Mass. In this parish we offer Confessions every day and as usual after the morning Mass I go to the Confessional. This morning I'm there rather longer than usual as a number of students see the door open and make use of the opportunity - apparently it hadn't occured to them that the language might be a barrier (it wasn't!).
They invite me to join them for a get-together this evening. The idea is that I tell them some things about the parish and then answer their questions. It went very well. Lots of questions about Anglicanism and the position of the Queen. I try to answer as fairly as possible.
Before long, however, there are questions about vocation. How did you know you were to be a priest? How old were you when you first thought about your vocation? These are lads between fifteen and seventeen years old. They go to Mass, confess their sins, and pray each day... I told them that I was sixteen when I first realised I was being called to priesthood.
I am sure a few of them will be thinking and praying hard tonight!


Andre. said...

Its great to see so many students really focusing on their faith. Lets hope you inspire them to greater things!

Fr Stephen said...

Hi Andre, thanks for the message. What's really impressive is to see them come to the Church half an hour early to pray before Mass. Pope John Paul used to comment on the generosity of young people. What's needed is example and encouragement.