Vocation directors see marked increase in enquiries after WYD

 Diocesan Vocations Directors have just returned from their annual conference at St Cuthbert's College Ushaw, the seminary in the North of England. During the course of the four day conference from 27th to 30th October, the Vocations Directors discussed the impact of World Youth Day on the climate of vocations in England and Wales. Many have witnessed at first hand a marked increase in the number of enquirers for the diocesan priesthood and attribute this directly to World Youth Day 2008.

The World Youth Day experience has not just fuelled an interest in vocations for priesthood, but has been a vehicle for young people to recognise that all are called to holiness and to consider their own vocation as an integral part of their faith journey.

Many diocesan groups took their seminarians to World Youth Day. The long pilgrimage provided a perfect opportunity for those in formation to share their faith stories with other young pilgrims. A significant number of recent enquirers have been younger men and/or teenagers. Initial interest has often been sparked by U18 and over 18s discernment/enquirers diocesan events. One Diocesan Vocations Director, Fr. Stephen Langridge said: "The World Youth Day was such a significant experience in the lives of our young people that, in response to their requests to continue sharing their faith, we have established Quo Vadis, a new Vocations Group for teenagers in our diocese. It attracted twenty people to its first meeting".

In his final World Youth Day homily, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI asked young people to: 'Open your hearts to that power (the Holy Spirit)! I address this plea in a special way to those of you whom the Lord is calling to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Do not be afraid to say "yes" to Jesus, to find your joy in doing his will, giving yourself completely to the pursuit of holiness, and using all your talents in the service of others!' It seems that many young people in England and Wales are unafraid to say "yes" to that call.

For further information see: www.ukpriest.org

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