“The harvest is great, but the workers are few.”
Our Lord’s words, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37) ring very true today. In the Diocese of Dromore, there has been a paucity of vocations to the diocesan priesthood for many years. Many of those priests serving today have reached the latter years of their working life. There has never been a better time to consider a vocation to the priesthood because the people of Dromore are crying out for pastors to guide them in their journey to Heaven. Priests are needed now more than ever. Will you answer the call?
“The function of the clergy is essential and irreplaceable in announcing the Word and celebrating the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. … For this reason it is vital to ask the Lord to send workers for His harvest…” – Pope Benedict XVI
Newry Parish Online Media Team is producing a series of short videos ‘Vocation stories’ in which priests serving in Dromore Diocese talk about their vocation and their journey toward priesthood. Take a look at the episodes below.
Diocesan Vocations Directors
Father Tony Corr and Father Colum Murphy currently serve as Vocations Directors for the Diocese of Dromore. They will be happy to speak with you if you would like to discuss vocations.
Address: Cathedral Presbytery, 38-40 Hill Street, Newry, Co. Down, BT34 1AT
Phone: 028 3026 2586
Some qualities of a priest
The qualities and characteristics of a perspective candidate for the priesthood:
- A personal relationship with God integrated through prayer and seen as an important and vital part of his life
- Has the ability and willingness to talk about his faith
- Has some involvement in his local parish
- Has a desire to serve others and make a difference in people’s lives
- Motivated by the mission of Jesus and ability to articulate it
- One who is approachable
- Has the ability to collaborate with others
- Takes initiative and assumes responsibility for his actions
- Recognises the importance of the Church and the role of the Church as teacher.
- Has shown the capacity and evidence of living a chaste celibate life
- Has healthy relationships with men, women and children
- Has at least average academic ability and common sense
- Recognises the need to both give and accept support from others
- Possesses a keen sense of empathy
- Has leadership skills
- The celebration of the Sacraments are important to him
- Has the ability to nurture another person’s growth
- He is open and respectful of all people
- A person of integrity
- An awareness of God’s presence
- Others have mentioned that he would make a good priest
The diaconate is an ordained ministry, of which there are three: bishop, priest and deacon. In December 2006, the Irish bishops announced the publication of the National Directory and Norms for the Permanent Diaconate, which has been approved by the Holy See.
Who can be a Deacon?
According to the new directory on the diaconate, candidates for the permanent diaconate will be men with a good knowledge of the Gospel, a well established spiritual life, and a proven willingness to serve others, even at some personal cost.
The minimum age for admission to the permanent diaconate is twenty-five years for a celibate candidate, and thirty-five years for a married candidate. The maximum age is sixty years. While married men may be ordained, deacons who are widowed may not remarry.
Study for Diaconate?
It will take four years for a man to become a permanent deacon – a preliminary year, before he is accepted as a candidate, followed by three years of formation, in a part-time course, involving the study of theology and philosophy, as well as pastoral, spiritual and human formation.
The Role of the Diaconate
The bishops emphasise that deacons are not a replacement for the priest. They said they were concerned that all Catholics would be helped to participate actively in the life of the Church, and “the diaconate should facilitate that rather than be in any sense an impediment to that participation”.
If you feel you may have a vocation to diaconate then please contact Rev. Frank Rice (Details below) who will be happy to talk to you more about your calling.
You could also contact a priest or deacon in your parish, or a priest or deacon that you know,
who can help you with your discernment.
Rev. Dr. Frank Rice,
Address: Maypole Hill, Dromore, Co. Down, BT25 1BQ
Phone: 028 9269 2218