Pastor's Corner

2020 07-28   Vocation – A Response to the Lord’s Unmerited Call

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This Saturday, Archbishop Hartmayer ordained three men to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Atlanta at the Cathedral of Christ the King.  We thank these men for discerning and answering the call to serve, and we pray that Our Lord will bless them and guide them in their priestly ministry.  They are challenged to embrace this call to priestly service with love and joy.  These men are ordained at a time when there is much uncertainty and trial in our world due primarily to the impact of the COVID-19 virus.  We pray that they will be good shepherds for the people entrusted to their care.

The publication, “Catholic News Agency”, reported that in a recent address on the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis stated that vocational discernment is not simply “a decision we make as isolated individuals.  Vocation, more than our own choice, is a response to the Lord’s unmerited call.”  He indicated that priesthood requires, “courage and perseverance, and without prayer, one does not follow this path.  I invite everyone to ask the Lord for the gift of good workers for his kingdom who have their hearts and hands open to his love.”  He also stated, “Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us.  We will succeed in discovering and embracing our vocation once we open our hearts in gratitude and perceive the passage of God in our lives.”  Our Holy Father noted that the voice of God invites us to go “beyond ourselves to find true goodness and peace.”

The following prayer by Pope Francis, provided by “Vision Vocation Network” asks Our Lord for guidance in our vocational path:

LORD of the Harvest,

BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call.

Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.

INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving— for vocations blossom in the good soil of faithful people.

INSTILL those in religious life, parish ministries, and families with the confidence and grace to invite others to embrace the bold and noble path of a life consecrated to you.

UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament, so that we may cooperate with you in building your reign of mercy and truth, of justice and peace.     Amen.

                                    — Pope Francis

As a community of faith, as we reflect on this prayer, and on the words of Pope Francis, we are encouraged to continue to ask Our Lord for an abundance of holy, happy, and healthy priests, deacons and religious to guide the Church of tomorrow.



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