A major theme for the Summer General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which concluded in Maynooth on Thursday 9 May, was the discussion on encouraging vocations to the priesthood and to religious life, and on seminary formation. Bishops announced that there will be consultation at local diocesan level on how best to create a culture of vocations. Bishops agreed to undertake a national vocations initiative during 2017 in order to promote vocations.
Ahead of his address to the National Vocations Directors’ conference from 9 to 11 June in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Archbishop Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong, Secretary for Seminaries of the Congregation for Clergy, Holy See, addressed the conference on the challenges facing vocations in the contemporary world. Archbishop Patrón Wong emphasised the importance of discernment and accompaniment of vocations. He also underlined the growing significance of a propaedeutic (pre-seminary) period as a vital aspect of priestly formation. Archbishop Patrón Wong also encouraged the bishops to continue their work on these important issues.
Archbishop Patrón Wong spoke to CatholicNews.ie, the new ‘news’ source of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, about his work with the Congregation for the Clergy, about the responsibility that lies with all in the Church to create and nurture a culture of vocations. He also shared his views about the Irish Church and the hope and green shoots he sees in young people – especially young seminarians and young consecrated persons.
Click here to listen to the interview with Archbishop Patrón Wong.