By Sarah Mac Donald - 24 June, 2019
“This is an essential part of the mission of the priest; to break for the people the bread of God’s Word as well as the bread of the Eucharist.”
The Bishop of Elphin on Saturday paid tribute to the support members of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society offer seminarians in Ireland and overseas.
In his homily in Knock for the annual pilgrimage of the Society, Bishop Kevin Doran highlighted the spiritual and practical support members provide to those in formation for the priesthood.
“Some are inclined to ask ‘do we still need it? We are, after all, modern people in a modern world’,” Bishop Doran acknowledged.
“Jesus chose to entrust his Word to the twelve, telling them to ‘go make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, to the very end of the age’.”
He said, “This is an essential part of the mission of the priest; to break for the people the bread of God’s Word as well as the bread of the Eucharist.”
Of the numbers of seminarians in Ireland today, Bishop Doran likened their scarcity to the disciples at the foot of the cross.
“They are few in number, at least in Ireland.” he said.
“They have heard the promptings of God’s Word in their hearts. I encourage you to pray for them and for the many others whom God is calling but who, for one reason or another, are not able to hear the call just at the moment, because of all the competing noises in our culture.”
St Joseph’s Young Priests Society exists to help student clerics on their journey to priesthood.
The Society also fosters vocations to religious life. It assists students for the priesthood both financially and by prayer, and fosters a greater understanding and love of the Mass.
The Society helps students for the priesthood from any diocese in Ireland recommended by a board of priests appointed by the four archbishops of Ireland.