Commission for Ecumenism & Interfaith Dialogue

Bishop Anthony's Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations


World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Bishop Anthony Fisher’s Message for Good Shepherd Sunday Fourth Sunday of Easter 25 April 2010

What must I do to inherit eternal life – a young man once asked Jesus. What’s my life for? What’s it all about? Is there more to life than what I’ve got now, what I’m doing now?

These are a young person’s questions, important questions. We get our whole life to discern our vocation and try to live it. But we only get one life to do it in. So it’s personal and it’s urgent.

Good Shepherd Sunday is a special chance to ask these big questions with the Church’s help, with the help of the Good Shepherd Himself. Take your hopes and dreams and issues to Him in prayer. Have a look at our vocations website. Talk to a priest about it, especially Fr Paul Roberts, our Diocesan Director of Vocations.

The priesthood has taken a beating lately. The terrible crimes of a few have damaged the credibility of all. What do we, as a Church, do about that? We hang our heads in shame before God and the world. We repent and do penance. We seek forgiveness from the victims and justice and healing for them. We seek to make sure this does not happen again.

But we never give up on the priesthood. What would that be saying to Christ whose priesthood it is? What would it be saying of the countless powerful and beautiful things Christ has done through His priests? What would it say to people of all ages who need the help of Christ’s priests?

The Church makes the Eucharist and is also made by the Eucharist, so without priests we are nothing. We need more, happy and holy priests:

  • joyful in proclaiming the Risen Christ;
  • close to Him in prayer;
  • being there for people as good shepherds;
  • and mediating God’s mercy to all.

We need priests who are:

  • humble and faithful;
  • ready to lead and serve;
  • ready to sanctify through prayer and sacrament;
  • ready to preach and teach, not just any opinion, but the
  • living words of Jesus Christ in the teachings of His Church.

We need priests alive with Christ and giving their all.

I love being a priest. I love being a religious. There’s no better life. It brings you close to God and close to His people. And you bring God and people closer to each other. What a privilege! What a grace!

The Diocese of Parramatta needs you. Either to be a priest or religious, or to support those who should be. Don’t be put off by the bad wrap some people give the Church. You know that most priests and religious do a superb job: loving, serving, striving and living for Christ and His people.

Don’t be put off by thinking you’re not holy enough or learned enough or articulate enough or prayerful enough. If you have a passion for God and the things of God, if you care about people and the future of our world, the priesthood or consecrated life will give you what you need. God will give you what you need.

The people of the Diocese of Parramatta want you to lead and serve them!

May Christ the Good Shepherd bless your search. May His Blessed Mother accompany you. May St John Vianney and our soon-to-be St Mary MacKillop inspire you.

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