Parents should pray daily for children to join the priesthood, congregation told

Loughrea celebrates ordination of Father Michael Duignan as new Bishop of Clonfert

A congregation in the parish of Loughrea in Co Galway has been urged to pray for children to choose a vocation in the priesthood. Photograph: iStock

A congregation in the parish of Loughrea in Co Galway has been urged to pray for children to choose a vocation in the priesthood. Photograph: iStock

 

Parents should put aside time each day to pray for their children to choose a vocation in the priesthood, the parish of Loughrea in Co Galway has heard.

Speaking on Sunday in the Cathedral of Saint Brendan in Loughrea for the ordination of Father Michael Duignan as the new Bishop of Clonfert, Monsignor Cathal Geraghty said parents should include five minutes of prayer in their daily routine so children view the priesthood as a “worthwhile and appreciated calling”.

“We are all well aware that vocations to the priesthood and religious life have more than declined in recent years,” said Monsignor Geraghty in his homily. “Many causes have been suggested, some have more credence than others, but I think there is a case to be made that a step towards being more positive about a religious vocation could be found close to home, in fact in the home.”

For many years the Catholic Church had the “wind at our backs” and it was generally accepted that the church was “proclaiming a message worth hearing”, he told the congregation.

“But things are different now, it is more difficult. We are facing into a headwind and the place of the church in the public square has been greatly reduced,” he said, adding that people need to be “courageous” and “face up to the challenge”.

When the “bright light of gospel values are dimmed in society”, members of the church should “put on the high-vis jacket” to be the light that shines in darkness and find a way of making “the words of Christ heard over the clamour that seeks to drown God out”, he said.

Fr Michael Duignan, who was appointed Bishop of Clonfert by Pope Francis in July following the resignation of Bishop John Kirby, expressed thanks to all those who had offered support and guidance through his life in the church and said he had been called to hold the position as bishop to spread the message that “life is better not worse with Christ”.