Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Last week I went down to Exeter to speak to the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy who were meeting at the Catholic Chaplaincy. It was nice to be there again and to catch up if only briefly with some of the students I knew from various talks I've given there in the past. I had been asked to give a talk on modern approaches to vocations ministry. There were about fifteen priests present which struck me as a pretty good turn out - particularly in a diocese where parishes tend to be quite scattered. Plymouth is so large that some of those present had travelled nearly as far as me!
I am always happy to give these talks which are aimed at helping priests understand not only how vocations work has moved on from the days when the Vocations Director sat at home waiting for the phone to go, but also showing how important it is for them to get involved in the work as well. If we want to have more vocations to the priesthood and religious life we need to learn how to spot the signs of a vocation, to overcome our reticence about asking young people, and to begin to offer spiritual direction.
It was very nice to meet a number of Ordinariate clergy who were present and to learn that giving spiritual direction is very much part of the formation they receive in anglo-Catholic houses of formation.