Last weekend we were given the sad announcement that at the end of next month Fr. Aaron will be leaving Horsham after only 14 months in the parish. As both he and Fr. Richard said at all of the Sunday Masses Bishop Kieran did not do this lightly and another priest is urgently needed in Redhill which is made up of three parishes and also covers East Surrey Hospital. Fr. Aaron has been a fantastic and invaluable part of the clergy team here in Horsham, a great support to many and he will, I'm sure, be sorely missed.
As hard as it is when priests are moved on a situation like this highlights how much we need to pray for vocations to the priesthood. It is easy to think that someone else is doing it or to look at young men like Tom and think that there are plenty of people responding to this calling. The fact is that we do urgently need more priests. The Mass and the sacraments are an essential part of our lives as Catholics, they bring us into an ever deeper and more intimate relationship with Christ, give us a foretaste of heaven and help us to centre ourselves on God and God alone. As Christians we should all be actively trying to discern what God is asking us to do each day, what his will is for us each day. Just as every Catholic woman should take the time and space to open herself up to God and see if he is calling her to some special vocation (like the religious or consecrated for example) so should every young man see if he is called to serve God and the Church as a priest. We have been very blessed in this parish to have such easy access to the sacraments for so long but in so many places in this diocese and around the world this is simply not the case. Why not commit to praying once a day for vocations to the priesthood as well as praying for our seminarians, our priests and our bishop too. Prayer always works, prayer always helps...even if we don't see the result with our own eyes.
Prayer for Vocations
Father of all,
in the name of Jesus Christ
who came not to be served but to serve,
grant us the grace of many new vocations
to the priesthood in our diocese.
Give us men after your own heart who,
following the example of the Good Shepherd,
are willing to joyfully lay down their lives
in your service and for your glory.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be.
Holy Mary, our hope, pray for us.
St Philip Howard, pray for us.
St John Vianney, pray for us.
Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.
For more information on the priesthood visit the vocations blog by clicking here, the vocations website here, or Facebook page here.