Monday, February 18, 2013

Divine Mercy Conference 2013

With Ms Ann-Marie Gallagher, Director of Vocations Ireland.

I spent much of the weekend at the Divine Mercy Conference at the RDS in Dublin. It brought back so many happy memories of the Eucharistic Congress from last June!

The Divine Mercy Conference drew thousands of people who gathered to listen to testimonies and talks, and attend Mass and a healing service. There was a great spirit of prayer throughout the weekend. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Rosary were prayed with great devotion. I wasn't the only Presentation Brother to attend - Brother Mark from our community in Dublin was there too.

I volunteered to help at the Vocations Ireland stand and it was great to meet people at different stages of their discernment. Many were thinking about religious life for the first time and were wondering, "where do I start?" Others seemed to have discerned that religious life was for them and were now discerning what congregation's charism was drawing them most.

The Divine Mercy motto is "Jesus, I trust in you". I was thinking of this a lot over the weekend. It has an obvious resonance for those discerning a religious vocation. We can always trust that the path which the Lord has prepared for us is the right one. We just need the guidance and the courage to follow it.

If you ever want to talk about the vocation of a religious brother, feel free to shoot me an email at

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Pope retires as Lent begins

The legacy of Pope Benedict XVI by Fr Robert Barron

It has been an eventful week. Our Holy Father's announcement on Monday came as a tremendous surprise. Our immediate reaction ought to be an expression of spiritual solidarity with the Pope. We should pray for him during these days of emotion and challenge.

On Wednesday we began our Lenten journey which will end with the joy of the resurrection. For anyone discerning a vocation, this is a wonderful time of year to focus on one's prayer life and to make a determined effort to foster an ever deeper relationship with the Lord.

It is the Lord who calls.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Vocations in the spring

The beginning of February is traditionally associated with the heralding of the start of spring and the arrival of fertility to the land. The land dormant during the winter months, begins to stir and new life embarks on its journey towards the light. Precious seeds, deep within the soil are germinating, awaiting the breath of spring to accompany them to the earth’s surface.

These are days when we are invited into our own spring space – a space where new life is stirring, awakening and becoming, a space full of potential and possibility. These are days of rebirth and re-growth, of renewal and resurrection. Then with their first appearance they adorn the earth with their beautiful presence and remind us of resurrection.

A few days ago we marked the feast of St. Brigid, patroness of Ireland, and we celebrated this great woman of prayer and her great devotion to God and neighbour. She dedicated her life to God and to the poor. She became known for her good works and many young women were inspired to join her.

The following day, feast of the Presentation of the Lord, was also World Day for Consecrated Life. We paused to remember and celebrate the many priests, brothers and sisters whose faith, devotion and commitment influenced many of our lives. We remember too the young men and women who are discerning a call to priesthood or religious life at this time. We pray for them all and thank God for their lives of quiet dedication.

At the beginning of spring, maybe now's the time to go deeper in your discernment journey...

I'm always available at if you'd like more information.

[Adapted from Finola Cunnane SSL, Intercom]