We are happy to hear that the Diocese of Leeds Vocations Service reports a steady number of enquirers amongst men who are exploring the possibility of a calling to the Sacred Priesthood.
Vocations Director Fr Stephen Webb may be contacted via our Vocations website https://www.dioceseofleeds.org.uk/priestly_vocations/, which last month was viewed more than 300 times.
After the Ordination of Fr Sean Elliott in February this year, we currently have six seminarians. Some are just at the beginning of their studies and formation; others have been instituted into the Ministries that are part of the journey to priesthood, for example the Ministries of Lectorate (public reading of Sacred Scripture) and Acolytate (deepening knowledge and love of the Eucharist). These Ministries help prepare the seminarian for his eventual proclamation of the Gospel and celebration of the Mass.
Seminarians Philip and Paul both study at the Beda College in Rome, Deacon Yemane, Alex and Stephen are in formation at St Mary’s College in Oscott, Birmingham and Deacon Marc is currently gaining pastoral experience by assisting and residing in one of our parishes. .
Our next seminarian to be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood at Leeds Cathedral will be Deacon Yemane Aradom on Saturday 23 July 2022.
In addition to our Vocations website, we continue to use social media as an informal tool and point of contact for those who are curious about vocation. The Vocations Facebook page Leeds Diocesan Vocations Service now has 321 followers, largely due to the efforts of Anne Cooke who manages the page and says:
‘In the past 18 months or so we are delighted to have gained nearly 100 new Facebook followers (including some people in different countries). We have led live Rosaries on Facebook to pray for vocations and hope and plan to develop the Vocations Service website even further.’
‘The Vocations Service has also run some successful events for those discerning their vocation. The Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola saw our seminarians, enquirers, our three most recently-ordained priests and Bishop Marcus meet together, with attendees having chance to ask questions, share experiences and build a sense of community.’
‘In November last year, a group of young women discerning religious life met together for a Holy Hour and refreshments along with a number of sisters from different orders resident in the Diocese including the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of St Joseph of Peace. The Franciscan Sisters graciously welcomed all into their home for the event, which included a reflection on Our Lady and the account of the Annunciation. We pondered our own vocations whilst looking to our Holy Mother’s example as she learned she was being invited to be the Mother of God as He became Man so that we might dare to approach Him and love Him.’
‘We hope and pray to be able to run more events for our dear discerners – those courageous enough to explore who God is calling them to be!’
Please keep all our seminarians, discerners and the Vocations Service in your prayers!
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