By Sarah Mac Donald - 07 March, 2020
Archbishop Eamon Martin has launched a new vocations drive in the Archdiocese of Armagh aimed at attracting men to the diocesan priesthood.
At a conference for Armagh’s priests at the Dromantine Retreat Centre in Newry, Dr Martin announced a vocations event for men considering the priesthood at the Mulberry Bistro, Cathedral Road, Armagh on 30 April 2020.
Archbishop Martin was joined at the launch by Bishop Michael Router, Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, and over 70 priests from parishes in counties Armagh, Louth, Tyrone, Derry and Meath.
At the conference, Archbishop Martin also launched a brochure on priesthood.
The brochure was created by members of the Armagh Diocesan Vocations Commission, who are spearheading the vocations drive.
It features three priests of the diocese – Fr Emlyn McGinn, Fr Mark O’Hagan and Fr Sean McCartan – and is intended as a resource to promote vocations to priesthood.
At the Dromantine Retreat Centre, Fr Willie Purcell, National Director of Vocations, and Deacon Eric Cooney, Director of the National Vocations Office in Maynooth, delivered keynote addresses on the culture of vocations in Ireland today.
Speaking at the launch Fr Purcell said, “We have a positive outlook for the future of vocations in Ireland. People regularly make vocational inquiries to our office and we look forward with hope to the future of the diocesan priesthood in Ireland.”
Last autumn 15 seminarians began their formation and academic programme for 2019 – 2020 at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and the Pontifical Beda College, Rome; with a number of others undertaking a propaedeutic programme in locations in Ireland and abroad.
This brings to 68 the total number of men studying for the priesthood for Irish dioceses.
The National Vocations Office of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference opened on 1 July 2017.
For information on priesthood in Ireland and for contact details for local diocesan vocations directors, see www.vocations.ie