Hearing the Call in Panama

by Canon Stuart Wilson

At the moment there is an army poster that has caused a bit of kerfuffle. For a hundred years the Army has been famous for its call to service with the phrase ‘your country needs you.’  The latest version has not gone down well. It uses what many think is a negative word to describe the millennial generation.

Let’s forget about the name they used but let’s remember the great message behind the poster. Not only does our country need its bright young adults but so does our Church.  We are reminded of the importance of this at present. As I write, over a hundred young adults are packing their bags for the journey to Panama and World Youth Day taking place there. I am sure it will be an amazing and life changing event for many of them. God speed them.

For us who stay home, we have much to do. We have to pray for them and of course for our Holy Father. We pray for their fellow pilgrims and the people of Panama.

We also need to prepare for the effect that World Youth Day could well have on our Church in the UK when the final Mass has been celebrated and the participants return home. After previous World Youth Days, there has always been an increase in the number of young people assuming the Lord’s call to dedicate themselves to the Church.

New vocations are vital. They need to come from all age groups but especially from that dynamic group in their late teens and early twenties. The Vocations Promotion Team is beginning a new group called Young Seekers. Led by Fr Mike Maguire, the Assistant Vocations Promoter, this group hopefully will attract men in their late teens and early twenties to meet regularly and share their hopes and maybe their uncertainties about the call of the Lord.  At present we have six men interested but we would like to welcome many more. The meetings will take place at Westminster Cathedral at 7pm, usually on the last Thursday of the month. Please get in touch with Fr Mike at vocations@rcdow.org.uk for more details.

And if you are free on Saturday 16th February at 6pm, then come along to Mass at St Pius X Church, St Charles Square W10 6EB and hear our Vocations Presentation Team talk about the call to the Priesthood. Alternatively, join us on Sunday 24th March at 6pm at St Joseph’s Church, Bedwell, Stevenage SG1 1NJ. It would be great to see you.