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A powerful MUST-READ call for prayers of priestly vocations

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'We need to continue to put before the men and women of our day the challenge of following Christ.'

Bishop Mark O'Toole, the Bishop of Plymouth, has called for a prayer of priestly vocations in a pastoral letter, which was read in all parishes across the diocese earlier this month.

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Catholic Online (
4/25/2016 (6 years ago)

Published in Vocations

Keywords: Rosary, prayer, vocations, Bishop of Plymouth

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The letter was simple and read: "To encourage an atmosphere of prayer for vocations in the diocese, I am asking each parish to pray the rosary, at least once a week for priestly vocations, on a day and at a time that is most suitable for you."

He asked that everyone turn to their community and encourage young men who may be called to the priesthood.

"It is only God who can give us these vocations, and we know that Mary, especially, can assist us in our efforts," he stated. "We entrust our desire and need for vocations in her in a 'circle of prayer' across the diocese.

I ask you, also, to continue to pray in your families and at home to encourage our young people in the choices they make in life, that they be open to a priestly or religious vocation."

The Bishop explained three men were currently studying for the priesthood and two others are beginning their priestly formation for the diocese in September.

He asked for prayers for the studying priests and asked members to "be generous in the collection for the Seminarians Fund which takes place at the end of mass ... and will assist with their formation in the years ahead."

Bishop O'Toole explained he was a "naive young man" when he began training for the priesthood but admitted: "at some level I wanted to be the kind of priest who was a cross between Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons, converting the world!

"Of course, the reality is that idealism and sacrifice are attractive to the young. Nobody wants to join something that's died the death of a thousand compromises. We need to continue to put before the men and women of our day the challenge of following Christ.

"We need to pray and work for vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. These are precious paths on which to encourage our young people to embark. We need also to give others the accompaniment they need in order to be able to make generous decisions about their lives."

The Bishop then asked for prayers specific to the diocese and mentioned the apostle Paul.

"In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles today we hear how Paul and Barnabas were vital in ensuring that the Good News spread, so that more and more people were able to encounter the Lord Jesus. The ministry of the priest is vital in this proclamation."


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