Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May - the month of Mary...

The month of May has traditionally been a time of special devotion to the Mother of God. We, Presentation Brothers, are named after the Presentation of Mary in the Temple.

Here is a beautiful hymn to Mary that I came across and thought I'd share with you on this the last day of Mary's month.

Let's seek her intercession for all those who are discerning their vocation. Let today's young men and women echo her words, "Be it done unto me according to thy Word".

Monday, May 16, 2011

World Day of Prayer for Vocations - Supporting Discerners

Come, Follow Me...

The theme for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations which took place yesterday was fostering vocations in the local Church.

There is a challenge there for all of us to make sure that we are supporting and encouraging those who feel called to religious life.

I'll let the words of the Pope speak for themselves on the matter:

"Particularly in these times, when the voice of the Lord seems to be drowned out by “other voices” and his invitation to follow him by the gift of one’s own life may seem too difficult, every Christian community, evItalicery member of the Church, needs consciously to feel responsibility for promoting vocations. It is important to encourage and support those who show clear signs of a call to priestly life and religious consecration, and to enable them to feel the warmth of the whole community as they respond “yes” to God and the Church."

-Pope Benedict XVI, Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 2011.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

World Day of Prayer for Vocations - Practical Advice

Come, Follow Me...

Following Christ has always been challenging.

Pope Benedict, in his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, offers the following advice:

"It is no less challenging to follow Christ today. It means learning to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, growing close to him, listening to his word and encountering him in the sacraments; it means learning to conform our will to his."

What does this mean in practical terms for the one who is discerning a vocation to religious life? Well, it means making an effort to attend Mass as often as possible, ideally daily.
It means setting aside time to read, meditate and pray with Scripture .
It means time in silent prayer trying to discern the will of the Father.
All of this is not easy.

That’s why it’s important to have someone to accompany you on the journey. That’s why I’m happy to meet any man who is interested in religious life. The first meeting is over coffee and is very informal.

Just contact me at vocation@presentationbrothers.org

Friday, May 13, 2011

World Day of Prayer for Vocations - Prayer

" Come, follow me..."

This Sunday, May 15th, is the annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

Pope Benedict's message to mark the Day of Prayer contains some good advice for those discerning a vocation and for the wider Christian community.

Over the next few days I'll post some thoughts here arising from the Pope's letter.

1. The importance of prayer.

The Pope notes that Christ spent a night in prayer before he called the first disciples by the Sea of Galilee. He says that Our Lord spent this time in "interior detachment from mundane concerns".

It's difficult to make any decision in life if you are surrounded by noise and distraction. Indeed, it can be easy to put off making a decision in these circumstances.

For this reason, every few months, I organise "Time Out" vocations weekends for men who would like to leave aside their "mundane concerns" for a few days and reflect deeply on what God might be calling them to do with their lives. If you'd like information on the next one, shoot me an email at vocation@presentationbrothers.org

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blessed Edmund Mass

The sanctuary in St Joseph's Parish Church in Glasthule

There was a great turnout for the annual Blessed Edmund Rice Mass in St Joseph's Parish Church in Glasthule last week.

Pastor Emeritus, Fr Brian O'Sullivan was the Celebrant at the Mass which also included a blessing with a first-class relic of Blessed Edmund Rice.

Afterwards, the doors of the Brothers' House were thrown open to welcome the congregation for light refreshments.

Some of the volunteers who prepared the refreshments

Yours truly during the Mass

Some members of the Family Mass Group

Friends and Associates of the Brothers

Brother Majella (left) presents the relic of Blessed Edmund for Veneration

Glasthule's Senior Choir during the Mass

Some of the large attendance in the Brothers' house afterwards

Enjoying the refreshments afterwards

Deep in conversation...

Catching up in the Brothers' house after Mass

More of the large attendance

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Feast Day!

Greetings to all! Today, 5th May, is the feast of Blessed Edmund Rice, our Founder. I want to wish you all every blessing on this special day.

Edmund was a man with a vision for his time but it is also for our time. Our values and norms are often focused on ourselves and not on those on the margins. We must be willing to put Christ back in our lives and follow both Him and Edmund so that we can be a beacon of light to the world around us- to our communities, our parishes, our families and our society.

Let us focus today on the man called Blessed Edmund and see what we can do in the 21st century that would inspire more men to join us and continue the mission of Blessed Edmund.