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Thursday, 26 October 1972


Beloved sons in Jesus Christ,

It is a joy - a great joy - for us today to receive this group of Vocation Directors from England and Wales. We are indeed pleased to have this happy occasion to address to you a word of encouragement, support and blessing.

The message that we have for you, and for all the Vocation Directors of the world who may hear these words of ours, is above all one of confidence in the Lord. It is a message that comes from our heart.

Your task of promoting vocations is an arduous one; there are many difficulties inherent in it. In every age of the Church your ministry requires much effort; today it involves a most special and unremitting dedication. It is necessary to follow closely the mentality of young people, to know them well and to be their friends. It is necessary to appreciate the obstacles that they face and the particular pressures they encounter in being modern Christians.

But it is likewise necessary for you to meditate on the riches of God’s grace and to realize fully the ever-present attraction of Christ’s priesthood in each generation till the end of time. In this regard, we say to you today: beloved sons, never underestimate the efficacy of Christ’s salvific work, of his redemptive life, passion and death. And never forget the undying and inexhaustible power of his Resurrection. The power of these mysteries of Christ are the source of renewed life and perpetual energy and enthusiasm in the People of God. The power of these mysteries is the source of new vocations in the Church.

It has always been so. And you can be assured that the vital activity of the Holy Spirit is not lacking in stirring up vocations in our own age.

Be confident therefore that Christ’s invitation is still extended personally in the hearts of young people: “You did not choose me; no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last . . .” (Io. 15, 16). It is up to you to help awaken a consciousness of this calling, to counsel generosity in accepting it and perseverance in fulfilling it. You know that you yourselves must radiate authentic Christian joy and that your ministry cannot be devoid of personal prayer and penance. And in the Eucharistic celebration the entire community of God’s people must be united in begging “the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest” (Matth. 9, 37).

And so, beloved sons, in Nomine Domini go forward in your work, with determination and with the realization of cooperating vitally in the mission of perpetuating Christ’s ministerial priesthood and the entire salvific plan of God the Father. And may peace and grace be yours in abundance.


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