PARISH BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENTS
For use Sunday, April 10, 2016
Do you believe that God calls all people to spread the Good News? How are you responding
to the call? Do you want some help? Next week is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Come,
join with the parish in prayer for vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life in our Diocese.
For use Sunday, April 17, 2016
Today, the Fourth Sunday of Easter or Good Shepherd Sunday is a special day for everyone
in our parish and our Diocese. We celebrate World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
We ask that we may be filled with joy and the Holy Spirit as we carry on the mission of Jesus, our Good Shepherd. We pray in thanksgiving to day for our Bishop, Priests, Religious and Deacons and for an increase in vocations in the Church. May our youth listen to God’s call and be encouraged to respond generously.
Homily for Vocations Sunday 2016.
In a talk to the priests of Rome Pope Francis reminisced about a priest whom he knew in Buenos Aires.
This priest had been the provincial of his religious community and also had been a university professor, but he was most well known as a confessor. Pope Francis related that many of the priests of Buenos Aires went to this priest for confession.
The priest died in his mid-90s, just before the Easter Vigil. The body of the priest lay in state in the crypt of one of the churches where he had served. The future Holy Father went to pay his respects and discovered there was not a single flower adorning the area around his casket.
Pope Francis said: “I thought, but this man, who forgave the sins of all the clergy of Buenos Aires, including mine, not even a flower. I went up and went to a florist — because in Buenos Aires there are flower shops at the crossroads, on the streets, where there are people — and I bought flowers, roses . . . and I returned and began to decorate the coffin with flowers.
“And I looked at the rosary in his hands. . . . And immediately it came to mind — the thief that we all have inside of us, don’t we? — And while I was arranging the flowers, I took the cross off the rosary, and with a little effort, I detached it. At that moment I looked at him and said: ‘Give me half of your mercy.’ I felt something powerful that gave me the courage to do this and say this prayer!
“I put the cross here, in my pocket. But the pope’s shirts don’t have pockets, but I always carry it with me in a little cloth bag, and that cross has been with me from that moment until today. And when an uncharitable thought against someone comes to mind, my hand always touches it here, always. And I feel the grace! I feel its benefit. What good the example of a merciful priest does, of a priest who draws close to wounds.”
What a beautiful illustration of the impact of the ministry of one priest!
At the recent ordination of priests, Pope Francis returned to the theme of the importance of mercy in the ministry of priests. He counselled those to be ordained: “For the love of Jesus Christ: Never tire of being merciful! And if you have scruples about being too forgiving, think of that holy priest about whom I have told you, who went before the tabernacle and said: ‘Lord, pardon me if I have forgiven too much, but it is you who have set me a bad example!’ The good shepherd enters through the door, and the doors of mercy are the wounds of the Lord; if you do not enter into your ministry through the Lord’s wounds, you will not be good shepherds.”
Mercy is at the heart of the priesthood. Good confessors are always first good penitents. It is the priest’s own experience of God’s mercy that guides and motivates him in trying to communicate the Lord’s mercy to others.
Despite all of its challenges, our lives as priests are incredibly blessed. We are given the privilege to witness the miracles that God is constantly performing for his people. Pray that many young men may be open to a priestly vocation. Pray that they may have the courage to go to the front lines of the struggle against good and evil.
Ultimately, a vocation is not defined by “doing” but rather by “being.” We are called to live our lives in a generous response of mercy to the One who gave us life. Being in the presence of the Father, sharing in the mission of Christ, being men and women of mercy and witnessing in the power of the Holy Spirit is what being a follower of the Good Shepherd is all about.
On this Good Shepherd Sunday let us pray for vocations in our Church. We need committed men and women who believe that their call to ordained or consecrated life is from God.
On a personal note, I thank God for the gift of your vocations as I thank God for the gift of my own vocation in serving you as a priest. Thank you for the many ways you witness God’s love to me.
The Good Shepherd calls each of us by name. May we respond to that call with the familiarity of truly knowing, loving and serving the One who calls us?
There are two powerful words that Jesus often used in relation with his disciples. Those words are “come” and “go.” Living one’s vocation is knowing how to do both.
A good vocation is simply a firm and constant will in which the called person has to serve God in the way and in the places to which Almighty God has called him. (St. Francis de Sales)
GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY – 4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER 2016 GENERAL INTERCESSIONS
Presider: Let us seek the loving care of our Good Shepherd as we present the needs of
our Church and world.
• That our Holy Father Pope Francis and all Church leaders will be filled with the Holy Spirit as they guide us,
Lord Hear Us
• That leaders of nations may work together to bring about greater justice
and lasting peace, Lord Hear us:
• That we, the People of God, may listen intently to the call of the Good
Shepherd and have the courage to be witnesses of the Gospel as we live out
our baptismal commitment, Lord Hear Us:
• That those who are suffering may find comfort and encouragement so they
may know joy, Lord Hear Us:
• That our youth may find direction in their lives as they discern God’s call
to priesthood, consecrated life, married life, single life, or the diaconate,
Lord Hear Us:
• For those who have died (especially . . .) may they be filled with the joy of
everlasting life, Lord Hear Us:
Presider: Loving God, we know of your gentle care for us.
We trust that you will give us what we need.
Shepherd us to follow in your ways now and forever. Amen.
ROSARY RESOURCE FOR PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
The Luminous Mysteries for Vocations
1st Luminous Mystery: The Baptism of Jesus
The mystery of our Lord’s Baptism is the mystery of Jesus taking upon Himself the mission of the Messiah. Thus begins His public ministry. Let us offer this decade for those called to the priesthood and religious life but are afraid to answer because of what others may say or think. Grant them courage, O Lord, to accept the mission You are giving them.
2nd Luminous Mystery: The Wedding Feast of Cana
Through the intercession of Mary, Jesus transforms ordinary water into extraordinary wine. What incredible things God’s grace can do in our lives! Let us offer this decade for those who are being called but doubt that they have much to offer. May they trust in the power of God to bring all things into completion and like Mary say “yes” to His call.
3rd Luminous Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom
Our Lord begins His public ministry by announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God. What joyous news this is for all humanity to hear! Let us offer this decade for an increase in vocations that there might be many more priests and religious who will proclaim this truth and bear witness to it with their lives.
4th Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration
Jesus strengthened the faith of His Apostles by allowing His Divinity to be momentarily perceived. He wished them to gain a supernatural perspective on His forthcoming Passion and Death. Let us offer this decade for all those who are being called as priests and religious that they may have the grace to recognize God’s call in the midst of life and courageously accept carrying the Cross.
5th Luminous Mystery: The Institution of the Holy Eucharist
The gift of the Most Holy Eucharist is a mystery going beyond our ability to fully comprehend. Our Lord’s abiding Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, the saving mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass — the world would suffer a great loss without these miracles. Jesus gives Himself in the Holy Eucharist through the ministry of His priests. Let us offer this decade for more priests for our country. May God call many more men to share in the Priesthood and may they respond generously.
VOCATIONS AWARENESS FAMILY TAKE-HOME PAGE
Call to Prayer
Leader: We gather
All: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Leader: God calls each of us by name. As a sign of our willingness to listen to God’s
call let us each respond “Here I am, Lord!” when you hear your name called.
(Leader says each person’s name aloud and the person responds.)
Prayer Jesus, we want to follow you. Help us to listen to your Word and to hear your
voice in our hearts and in each other. We want to be near you forever. Amen.
Reading A Reading from the Gospel of John (John 10:27–30)
Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and no one can ever take them from me or the Father.
The Father and I are one.” The Gospel of the Lord.
All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!
Sharing Take time to share about the ways Jesus talks to us and how we listen.
What helps us follow Jesus more closely?
Prayers (Offer personal intentions)
The Lord’s Prayer
Sign of Peace (Share a sign of peace with each person.)
Closing Prayer Dear God, You made everyone special in their own way.
Please help us to find our vocation in life.
Guide us to choose the right path in serving you. Amen.
—Taken from Dear God, Open My Heart
(A collection of children’s vocation prayers), p. 29
Closing Song “Connected,” (Hymn for first Penance)
(Optional) “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”
“Here I am Lord”
“The Summons” (Or a song of your choosinMake Your Own Family Vocation Poster
Materials needed: Piece of plain paper, (large enough to draw your hand), crayons or
1. Discuss how Jesus depends on our hands to carry on his work
2. Share about how each of you depends on Jesus to show you the way and helps you to be his
3. Trace your hand on a piece of paper.
4. Around the hand write the saying (or something similar): Jesus, take my hand and I will
5. Display the poster as a reminder to share your gifts.
Materials needed: strips of construction paper, glue or tape, crayons or markers.
1. Talk about the gifts/qualities of each person.
2. Write these gifts/qualities on strips of paper.
3. Join the strips to form a chain.
4. Place the chain somewhere as a sign of your willingness to join your gifts to serve God.
Thank You Card
Materials needed: paper for a homemade card or a purchased “Thank You” card, markers.
1. Create or buy a “Thank You” card for your priest who is a representative of Jesus, the Good
2. Write a note about what you appreciate about him.
3. Invite him for dinner and/or give him the card.
Vocation Conversation Starters
As a family, take time to talk about the various vocation choices: married people, single
people, diocesan priest, deacon, religious priest, brother, or sister. With each vocation choice
share what attracts you about that life style, what would be hard about that life style, and then share what gifts you may have to live out that vocation choice.