By Ann Marie Foley - 10 December, 2014
Vocations Ireland’s new director has said she expects the Holy Spirit will play a big part in her work.
Margaret Cartwright, who is married with three adult daughters, said she was looking forward to her new role and asked for prayers.
“We’re hoping to respond to the call from Pope Francis around the journey and encourage people to look at vocation in a wider sense, look at being the best person that we can possibly be. I think that is really important – to help with the discernment process,” she told CatholicIreland.net.
“At this stage quite a lot of people are beginning to discern – where are they going to go? What are they thinking about Church in terms of their commitment to Church and whether they have a vocation to religious life?”
To this end the Explore Away programme will continue and she hopes there will be other discernment processes to meet the needs of young people but also of people with a late vocation.
Margaret says Vocations Ireland will look at vocations in its widest sense – religious life, priesthood, marriage, single life.
She also feels it is very important to respond to the needs of its members – all the different congregations.
For example she sees that some congregations with ageing membership do not have the personnel for a vocations programme and Vocations Ireland may have a role there.
During her initial few weeks in the job she has been attending the AGM and other meetings and seminars to get a feel for what the needs are. She hopes to have vocations statistics compiled early in the New Year.
“(Vocations are) certainly on the rise but very slowly. I think congregations need to look and see what were they founded for originally and are they still answering that call? Or do they need to look in a new direction or need to be responding in a different way?” she said.
Margaret Cartwright will continue working in All Hallows part-time until the end of the current academic year as well as in her new role. At All Hallows she takes Pastoral Reflection with BA students.
Previously she was pastoral care coordinator at Mount Carmel Hospital in Dublin.
She is originally from Glasgow in Scotland and her grandparents were Irish. She has been living and working in Ireland for many years.