Intervento Rev. Prof. Brendan Leahy

Rev. Prof. Brendan Leahy

The Magisterium of the Popes in the Annual Messages for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations

I.                   Introduction

The specific scope of the Messages for the world Day of Prayer for Vocations was described by Pope Paul VI in his 1970 message as threefold: to reflect on the multiple reality of vocations in the Church; to commit everyone to collaboration and above all to prayer to the Lord of the harvest that he sent workers for his Church. However, in the course of 48 messages Popes Paul VI, Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI have offered us much, much more.

In his introduction to Messaggi per le vocazioni, Bishop Giuseppe Pittau describes the World Day of Prayer for Vocations messages as “like a small encyclopaedia of the theology and pastoral (care) of vocations.” [i] Not only that but in reading and meditating these messages we cannot but be mindful of the exceptional character of the Popes who have proposed them to us. The life of each one is itself a powerful message on the theme of vocation.

In my short paper presenting the Magisterium of the Pontiffs in the annual Messages for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, I cannot claim to do full justice to the encyclopaedic richness of teaching and observation, spiritual wisdom and analysis, example and recommendations contained in the 48 messages. In approaching my task of, I have been guided by a remark again made by Bishop Pittau. He writes that the “great themes of the Council on the Church”[ii] run throughout World Day of Prayer for Vocations messages. On this basis, I propose to draw together the many rich strands of the Papal Magisterial teaching under three headings that were prominent in the Second Vatican Council (an event that each of the three Popes experienced so personally and profoundly), and that return again and again as significant keys to reading the theological, pastoral and spiritual dimensions of a vocation. These three headings are: mystery, communion and mission.

In the 1992 Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores Dabo Vobis, n. 12, Pope John Paul referred to these three theological keys as “summarising” the Council’s teaching on the Church. In the first three of the six messages he has offered to date, Pope Benedict has focussed precisely on these three central themes.

Before moving into the heart of my presentation, I would like to clarify one point. The theme of vocation relates to every human being and particularly to every baptised Christian. Ultimately, each person finds his or her truest identity in the “sincere gift of self” as Gaudium et Spes, 24 puts it, that is at the core of every vocation. Several of the Messages for the Word Day of Prayer for Vocations underline this. The 2001 message, for instance, says “every life is a vocation”. The 1971 message speaks of the “common vocation to be Christians” within which “each of us is called to carry out a particular function for the realisation of the design of God” (Rom 12:4, 7; 1 Cor 12: 4ff). All Christians are called to help one another to discover and realise each other’s vocation.[iii] Pope John Paul writes: “The discovery of each man and woman that he or she has his or her place in the heart of God and in the history of humanity is a starting point for a new vocational culture”.[iv]

The focus of most of the World Day of Prayer for Vocation messages is primarily, however, on vocations to the priesthood, to the consecrated life (be it consecrated religious men and women in centuries-old orders or consecrated life in the evangelical counsels in new forms of consecration) and to missionary service (be it lay or ordained). As Pope Benedict puts it “God has always chosen some individuals to work with him in a more direct way, in order to accomplish his plan of salvation”.[v] The examples are many and are referred to in the messages: Moses and Aaron, Peter and Mary, Nathaniel and Paul, the Curé d’Ars and John Henry Newman.

It is these “vocations to work in a more direct way” with God that the messages have in mind.

With these introductory remarks, let us now begin. The first point is the Popes’ teaching on vocation in terms of mystery.

II.                Vocation is born in the “Mystery” of God come among us

Prayer

The very first word of the very first message broadcast by radio in 1964 is “pray”. It’s the invocation suggested by the Lord himself in the line that returns like a chorus throughout all of these messages, “therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Mt 9:37). Yes, vocation is a grace; it is rooted in a “love story”[vi] that starts not with us but in the mystery of God come among us in Jesus Christ. From all eternity God has thought of each one of us in view of a specific word that he wants to announce to humankind as it unfolds in his plan that centres in Jesus Christ. In the Letter to Ephesians we read: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ… just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love… With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will….that he set forth in Christ… as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth (Eph 1: 3-4; 9-10).

The Popes invite us on several occasions to meditate on how during his earthly life, Jesus takes the initiative in calling people to discover their truest identity in following him. We see this in his call, for instance, of the first disciples, Andrew, Peter, James and John. So we need to pray that again in our day he will to do so and that many will respond.

Throughout the Messages, we are reminded to pray for this with trust. The Popes want us to recognise that we are not despairing outsiders of a distant God but rather people of faith who believe in Jesus’ promise that in the Holy Spirit “until the end of time, right to the ends of the earth, he will be seeking out people of good will”[vii] who will co-operate in furthering his plan of uniting humankind in one family. When God makes a promise he does not deceive.

In his prayer the night before he died, as presented to us in the Priestly Prayer of the Fourth Gospel, we see how God’s plan for each person is embraced within the divine dialogue of love: “I am asking on their behalf… As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself… I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (Jn 17: 9, 17-21).[viii]

Faced with the decline in vocations in certain parts of the world, we need, therefore, to avoid negative attitudes, discouragement or pessimism. Pope John Paul in particular underlined the presence and assistance of the Risen Christ.[ix] We can rely on Jesus’ promise: “Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Mt 18:19-20). Our prayer, calling and responding (the three “passwords” in care of vocations as Pope John Paul II called them in his first message) need to take place in this horizon of hope.

Life

Recognising that a vocation is born in the mystery of God who has come among us, the Popes invite us to contemplate the beauty of the life that a vocation offers. The first disciples were fascinated in their conversion by the new life that opened up for them. Everything became secondary compared to it.

Pope Benedict reminds us that the weight of two millennia of history risks making it difficult to grasp the newness of this life, the “captivating mystery of divine adoption” that has opened up for us both collectively and individually in Jesus Christ: “The vision is indeed fascinating: we are called to live as brothers and sisters of Jesus, to feel that we are sons and daughters of the same Father. This is a gift that overturns every purely human idea and plan”.[x] We need to go against the tendency “to feel that we are self-sufficient to the point that we become closed to God’s mysterious plan for each of us” (2006).

Pope John Paul often recalled that the World Day of Vocations occurs between Easter and Pentecost, a liturgical time when we are presented with Risen Christ, the Good Shepherd, calling us to a new life. Vocation is, as he put it, a “call to life: to receive it and give it”.[xi] This is what those who encountered Jesus discovered. In him we find divine Life (“in him was the life”, cf. Jn 1:4) and our life becomes unified around him and the Kingdom. That’s why, as Paul VI puts it, “Nothing, no pleasure, no love can overcome surpass” the vocation.[xii]

Freedom

While a vocation is born in the mystery of God come among us and while the life that is on offer is fascinating, there is also the mysterious nature of our response to a vocation. The exemplary form of response to is to be found ‘when some fishermen of Galilee, having met Jesus, let themselves be conquered by his gaze and his voice, and accepted his pressing invitation: “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men”’ (Mk 1:17; cf. Mt 4:19).[xiii] In this “letting themselves be conquered” we come to a theme that is often mentioned in the messages – the theme of freedom. The Popes bring us to contemplate the great dignity and awesomeness of our human condition. We don’t “have” to say “yes” to God. The dignity of our Christian liberty is that we “can” say yes. Freedom is the essential basis of every vocation.[xiv]

The Spirit of the Father and of Jesus certainly continues to make resound within each person the most personal callings to what Pope Paul calls “an adventure of love”.[xv] As the great missionary, St. Paul, puts it: “All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses… To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Cor 12:7-11).

There are many difficulties that people face in responding freely to a calling. The Popes are well aware of this. They name some of them. The world of religion no longer exercises the attraction it once did. Indeed in some ways it is incomprehensible to the psychology of young people.[xvi] There is the issue of the Church itself in its permanent contradiction between ideal and reality. Unfortunately, the scandals in recent years have only increased that challenge. Today too there is a widespread mentality that favours personal non-commitment. A greater personal courage is needed today more than before to go against the current.[xvii]

The Popes list both a crisis of faith and a crisis of love among the causes of the vocations’ crisis. Every vocation is born from faith, lives of faith, and perseveres with faith. After all, “no one follows a stranger. No one offers their life for an Unknown”.[xviii] Education in faith is necessary. But it is true to say that education in love is also needed. Every vocation is an act of love in response to the One who asks “Do you love me?” “Do you love me more than these” (Jn 21: 15, 17). Without knowing the logic of faith that works through love, without training in the high, indeed measureless measure of love, young people ask “is it worthwhile”? So Paul VI asks: “Perhaps there’s a crisis in love, before a crisis of vocations?”[xix] Young people have to be helped to see that the positive values of human love, wealth, professional success, pleasure, success, power, in themselves good things, are not ultimate things, and so be helped to take the risk of abandoning themselves to the call of highest love of all, God, and in him to serve Jesus Christ in their neighbour.

Favourable Conditions Needed for Listening to the Voice

A vocation is born in mystery and is responded to in freedom. There are certainly problems, and worrisome issues, today, especially in certain regions of the Church, but in his 1970 message Pope Paul VI affirmed that the cause of the crisis should be sought in ourselves rather than in young people! With the crisis of consumerism and the crisis in ideals, many young people are searching for an authentic style of life. This is fertile terrain for opening the topic of vocation. The Popes encourage us towards a new “creativity in love” and new imagination in ways we might meet these searching young people, not least by making intelligent use of the modern means of social communication to get the message across: “Open your hearts to Christ”.

What comes across in the messages, however, is the need for a person to be helped attune their “spiritual senses” (hearing the voice, seeing the beauty, developing a taste to help others and serve the Church[xx]) to the call and beauty of a vocation. For that to happen, we certainly need to indicate to young people the classical means that help foster a spiritual life that facilitates the discovery of a vocation: listening to the Word of God, participation in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the sacrament of penance, personal and liturgical prayer, spiritual direction, love for the Virgin Mary and ascetical practices.[xxi]

In the course of these messages, the Popes also underline the need to create favourable conditions for young people to perceive a vocation.[xxii] Drawing on various remarks they make, it seems there are two major pathways they suggest that we should travel in our programming (a programming that Pope John Paul said was necessary) of the care of vocations –the pathway of communion and the pathway of mission.

III.             Discernment along the Pathway of Communion

Renewing the Ecclesial Fabric

The whole Church is called to renew an atmosphere where vocations can spring up and grow.[xxiii] Already in 1972 Pope Paul pointed out that the way of communion is important today not least because a communitarian sensibility is so alive in today’s world. Pope John Paul speaks of remaking the Christian fabric of the Church communities in the light of the ecclesiology of communion.[xxiv]

And that means renewing the life of communion within the Church itself at every level – from the family which John Chrysostom called the “domestic Church” (called “first seminary” in the 1994 message and “permanent school of the civilisation of love” in the 1998 Message) to the “local Church”, from the “parish community” to the “school”. Since “the Church was born to live and to give life”,[xxv] all expressions of the life of the Church must be sure it is generating the life of communion Jesus came to give in abundance.[xxvi]

The life of communion is characterised by the “rhythm” of “receiving-giving” that is nothing less than sharing in God’s own life.[xxvii] In the 2003 message, Pope John Paul affirmed: “When interpersonal relationships are inspired to reciprocal service, a new world is created and, in it, an authentic vocational culture is developed.” This is important in creating “a church for young people.”[xxviii] An essential first step in promoting vocations, therefore, is ensuring that the Christian vocation itself, based on baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist is kept alive, that it be “perfectly Christian” (see Mt 5:48).[xxix] And that means a renewed discovery of the Gospel: “A community that does not live generously according to the Gospel cannot but be a community poor in vocations”.[xxx]

Only life generates life as the 1982 Message puts it. All are called to be witnesses to the joy and fulfilment that comes from living in communion with Christ and one another in the light of the Gospel. Above all, those already within a special vocation – be it as a priest, a consecrated person or a missionary – are called to let themselves be attracted, conquered by the vocation, living it authentically in communion and so fascinate and attract others.

The Subjective and Objective Dimensions of Vocation

There is an important point that several messages clarify in explaining why life in communion with others facilitates people in distinguishing the “voice” of God. We are reminded that each vocation involves two aspects.[xxxi] On the one hand, there is the “interior” subjective expression of the voice within us, that of the Holy Spirit, the “silent voice” within the depths of each person. There can indeed be moments of “flashes of lightning” where an individual senses a calling. But then there is, as it were, the need for a loudspeaker that helps that voice be heard in the “exterior” instruments of the human, social and concrete means of the Church such as the Word of God proclaimed, the hierarchy, the explicit calling, the private chats and the encouragement of the family.[xxxii]

It is imperative in a culture that so often highlights the subjective, feeling dimension of choices to remember the objective, exterior dimension. The vocation is not just our interior feeling. It comes from outside us. It is something that is prompted, encouraged, discerned and confirmed in interaction with others. If the life of communion is truly alive it provides the atmosphere where vocations become clarified, difficulties overcome and it is easier to say “yes”.

As Pope Benedict puts it “This intense communion favours the growth of generous vocations at the service of the Church… In order to foster vocations, therefore, it is important that pastoral activity be attentive to the mystery of the Church as communion because whoever lives in an ecclesial community that is harmonious, co-responsible and conscientious, certainly learns more easily to discern the call of the Lord”.[xxxiii]

Being and Speaking; Personal Chats

In considering the contribution of the life of communion, we can note a twofold task in vocational promotion: “being” and “speaking”.

All of us are called to “be” or “witness” by our lives to the new life of communion that has opened up in Jesus Christ. Unless young people see that life, they will never hear the call. As the 2010 message puts it, “witness awakens vocations”. We ourselves need constantly to be evangelised as well as to evangelise.[xxxiv] And in the light of the ecclesiology of communion, that entails also a ministerial conversion to collaboration among pastors themselves and among pastors and lay faithful.

But we must also “speak” of the life of communion. “Be a community that calls”, John Paul writes in his 1986 message, indicating the need to move from a pastoral “of waiting” to a “pastoral of proposing”. In the messages the words of the great missionary, Paul, are cited often: “And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him?” (Rom 10: 14). A rector of a German seminary once said: “there are many Samuels but few Eli-s”! These messages remind us it is important to speak. Having the courage to open up the topic of vocation with a person is a sign of esteem for that person and can be a real moment of grace in their lives.

The “personal chat” as Pope Paul puts it, is an important instrument in the care of vocations. This is the logic of the “cor ad cor loquitur” coming from “the order of charity” that remembers each person is a unique person.[xxxv] We need to develop more this personal chat with young people, helping them make good choices. In his last message Pope John Paul commented that there is a pressing need to implement an extensive plan of vocational promotion, based on personal contact. Seminarians too should be the “first animators of vocations among their peers by communicating their discovery to others”.[xxxvi]

Some of the most beautiful passages of these messages are when the Popes speak directly to young people.[xxxvii] It would be worth putting together and publishing a selection of some of these strikingly personal and direct texts.

IV.             Journeying along the Pathway of Mission

Build on and Encourage Young People’s Generosity

The second major pathway in the care of vocations that runs through these messages is that of mission. The life that is born in God, lived and communicated in the community, is one that is destined to reach out to all. The messages suggest we foster vocations by a true education in the faith that gets young people to look outwards not inwards, knowing how to take “risks” for the Gospel and be builders of a new world as the faith inspires (2008).

In the 2003 message we read that “notwithstanding certain contrary forces, present also in the mentality of today, in the hearts of many young people there is a natural disposition to open up to others, especially to the most needy. This makes them generous, capable of empathy, ready to forget themselves in order to put the other person ahead of their own interest”.[xxxviii] Young people of today do not want words but facts. They want to build a new world. We need to build on this youthful dynamic and foster missionary engagement.

Families can create such an atmosphere and “communicate a taste for helping one’s neighbour and serving the Church, and cultivate good attitudes to welcoming and following the will of the Lord”.[xxxix] The Catholic school as well as giving reasons for saying “yes” to a special vocation, needs also to ‘favour experiences and create an environment of faith, generosity and service that can help liberate young people from that conditionings that make the response to the call of Christ “insipient” or impossible’.[xl]

On a sociological-religious level, it is good that young people be helped hear the cries of humanity reaching them, pushing them to find a way to respond. It is essential they hear the cries of the poor, the suffering and the sick waiting for someone interested in them; the cries of those embittered looking for consolation, the cries of the hungry looking to be fed. Paul VI speaks of a “symphony of the vocation” that is heard in these cries.[xli] The values of solidarity, fraternity, sacredness of life are clarified in reaching out to those in need. In this sense too, as Pope John Paul put it in his 2003 message, “diakonia is a true vocational pastoral journey” helping people to better understand their vocation.[xlii] They begin to see that “life must be consecrated to something big”[xliii] if it is to respond adequately.

Help Young People read “the signals of the Spirit”

Involving young people in apostolic mission is good but it is not enough. We need people who will commit themselves to apostolic missionary life for life! That is why, as Paul VI pointed out, young people need to move onto the religious-psychological level, and read the mysterious “signals of the Spirit” calling them to holiness.[xliv]

Young people cannot do this on their own. For this a “charism” is needed.[xlv] They need to be engaged in a faith-journey that helps them bridge the gap between faith and life, faith and culture. Young people have to be helped see that “the world cannot be transfigured and offered to God without the spirit of the beatitudes”.[xlvi] They need also to be presented with the great missionary calling “which always stands in need of radical and total self-giving, of new and bold endeavours”.[xlvii]

Radical Calling to Service as Volunteers of the Cross

The Popes remind us that young people need to be given the experience of being “volunteers of the Cross and Glory of Christ”.[xlviii] The Jesus who attracts is the “servant Jesus” who took the form of a servant (Phil 2: 7-8) and laid down his life for others. The Good Shepherd said: “I offer my life…I offer it myself “(Jn 10:17ff). As we read in the Letter to the Ephesians, he offered his life at the service of the Church: “Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her” (Eph 5:25). It is in following him in the call to serve that young people discover their truest identity in a sort death and resurrection that every call to mission entails in generous service to God and neighbour.

Ultimately, it is learning to love the Crucified Christ that people begin to realise there is a logic that leads them in new directions they could never have imagined: “Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go’ (Jn 21:18). It is in responding yes to this logic, hidden in Christ, that they find true freedom and happiness.

V.          Conclusion

And so, we conclude. In this paper, I’ve attempted to bring together the strands of the Pope’s messages around the three central themes of mystery, communion and mission. They cannot be taken as three separate dimensions in the pastoral care of vocations. There is, of course, a mutual inter-action between them.

There is no doubt that readers of these messages will hear the Popes’ concern – there is an urgent need for vocations to ordained ministry, consecrated life and missionary. The pastoral care of vocations is one of the most important issues facing the Church. Priests are needed because the Church’s very “constitution” demands there be such vocations in the very structure of the Church willed by Christ (‘As the Father has sent me, so I send you’ [Jn 20:21]). Consecrated men and women living the evangelical counsels are necessary because everyone is poorer without those who point to the eternal and the missionary mandate worldwide cries out for them.

The call to action from these messages is addressed to the whole Church but especially to bishops, presbyters, consecrated men and women and educators. In his 2005 message (written August 2004), Pope John Paul concluded: “Young people need Christ, but they also know that Christ chose to be in need of them”. Ultimately, the messages address a very personal word to each bishop, presbyter, consecrated man and woman and missionary: offer your personal witness. Many are waiting to hear from us our story and the fascination we have experienced in being called. After all, as Pope Benedict said to young people recently in Madrid: ‘It is hard to put into words the happiness you feel when you know that Jesus seeks you, trusts in you, and with his unmistakable voice also says to you: “Follow me!”’ (cf. Mk 2:14).

—————–

[1] See Leonardo Sapienza (ed.), Messaggi per la Giornata Mondiale di Preghiera per le Vocazioni (Rome: Rogate, 2003), pp. 14-15. All references to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II’s messages are taken from this collection.The paragraph number refers to the paragraph in that book. Pope Benedict’s messages are available on line.

[1] Ibid., p. 15

[1] 2002 Message, n. 383.

[1] 1998 Message, n. 351.

[1] 2007 Message

[1] 1984 Message, n. 236.

[1] 1972 Message, n. 122

[1] Quoted in 1969 Message, n. 66. See also 1978 Message. N. 177.

[1] John Paul, 1979 Message, n. 185.

[1] 2006 Message

[1] 1982 Message. n. 207.

[1] 1974 Message, n. 133.

[1] 2007 Message

[1] 1968 Message, n. 52.

[1] 1967 Message. n. 36.

[1] 1968 Message, n. 54.

[1] 1974 Message, n. 144.

[1] 1977 Message, n. 170.

[1] 1977 Message, n. 173.

[1] 1981 Message. n. 203 and n. 204.

[1] See this summary in the 1990 Message, n. 286.

[1] See for instance, the 1970 Message, n. 81

[1] 1975 Message, n. 153

[1] 1996 Message, n. 330 quoting Christifideles Laici, 34

[1] 1982 Message, n. 209.

[1] The title of the 1982 Message is “life generates life”.

[1] 1982 Message, n. 213.

[1] 1995 Message, n. 323

[1] 1970 Message n. 85 see also 1983, 222

[1] 1970 Message, n. 86. See also the 1996 Message n. 344.

[1] See Paul VI, General Audience, 5 May 1965, 17.

[1] The Venerable Bede is quoted in the 1974 Message, n. 138: “The Lord who called Levi exteriorly with the word, with a divine inspiration prompted him interiorly that he might immediately follow Him who called him”

[1] 2007 Message. See also 1997 Message, 345 and 346.

[1] In the 1976 Message, n. 158, Pope Paul writes:“now it’s up to us… to welcome his word and give it; to live it and bear witness to it; to be evangelised and to evangelise”

[1] See General Audience, 5 May, 1965.

[1] 1984 Message, n. 233.

[1] In his 1995 Message, n. 322, Pope John Paul points out that young people risk being deprived of authentic growth because they find no one to whom they can put the question the rich young man put: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”.

[1] 2003 Message, n. 392.

[1] 1981 Message, n. 204

[1]1989 Message, n. 277.

[1] 1974 Message, n. 135. See also John Paul II, 1985 Message, 242.

[1] cf. New Vocations for a New Europe, 27c quoted in the 2003 message

[1] 1971 Message. n. 101

[1] 1974 Message, n. 136 and 1971 message,  n. 106

[1] 1974 Message, n. 136.

[1] 1969 Message, n. 63 quoting Lumen Gentium, 31.

[1] 2008 Message quoting John Paul II’s missionary encyclical, Redemptoris Missio, n. 66

[1] General Audience, 5 May, 1965, n. 19.



Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1960 I am a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin. Having studied law at University College Dublin and King’s Inns, Dublin, I studied philosophy at Holy Cross, Clonliffe, Dublin and theology at the Gregorian University, Rome. I was awarded a doctorate from the Gregorian in 1993.

Brendan Leahy is the Professor of Dogmatic Theology at St. Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth, Ireland. He is a socio corrispondente of the Pontifical Academy of Theology and secretary of the Ecumenical Advisory Committee of the Irish Episcopal Conference. His publications include The Marian Profile of the Church (New York: New City, 2000) and his compilation of Pope John Paul II’s message of Peace, No Peace without Justice; No Justice without Forgiveness (Dublin: Veritas, 2005). Vatican II: Facing the 21st Century: Historical and Theological Perspectives, Dublin: Veritas, 2006 (Co-edited with Dermot A. Lane) Inter-Church Relations: Developments and Perspectives, Dublin: Veritas, 2008. Priests Today: Reflections on Identity, Life and Ministry, Hyde Park: New City Press, 2010 (Co edited with Monsignor Michael Mulvey).  Believe in Love: The Life, Ministry and Teachings of John Paul II, Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2011; Hyde Park, New City Press, 2011.  Ecclesial Movements and Communities: Origins, Significance and Issues, Hyde Park: New City Press, 2011.  Having Life in His Name: Living, Thinking and Communicating the Christian Life of Faith, Dublin: Veritas, 2011 (co-edited with Séamus O’Connell)

Dear Francis,

Thanks for the call. It was good talking together and seeing the talk in the light! Here are books that I have published since I last sent you the text for Seminarium. You can decide what to include:

Vatican II: Facing the 21st Century: Historical and Theological Perspectives, Dublin: Veritas, 2006 (Co-edited with Dermot A. Lane)

Inter-Church Relations: Developments and Perspectives, Dublin: Veritas, 2008

Priests Today: Reflections on Identity, Life and Ministry, Hyde Park: New City Press, 2010 (Co edited with Monsignor Michael Mulvey)

Believe in Love: The Life, Ministry and Teachings of John Paul II, Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2011; Hyde Park, New City Press, 2011.

Ecclesial Movements and Communities: Origins, Significance and Issues, Hyde Park: New City Press, 2011

Having Life in His Name: Living, Thinking and Communicating the Christian Life of Faith, Dublin: Veritas, 2011 (co-edited with Séamus O’Connell)

1

Brendan

PS. Just send me a quick e-mail to say you received this.


[i] See Leonardo Sapienza (ed.), Messaggi per la Giornata Mondiale di Preghiera per le Vocazioni (Rome: Rogate, 2003), pp. 14-15. All references to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II’s messages are taken from this collection.The paragraph number refers to the paragraph in that book. Pope Benedict’s messages are available on line.

[ii] Ibid., p. 15

[iii] 2002 Message, n. 383.

[iv] 1998 Message, n. 351.

[v] 2007 Message

[vi] 1984 Message, n. 236.

[vii] 1972 Message, n. 122

[viii] Quoted in 1969 Message, n. 66. See also 1978 Message. N. 177.

[ix] John Paul, 1979 Message, n. 185.

[x] 2006 Message

[xi] 1982 Message. n. 207.

[xii] 1974 Message, n. 133.

[xiii] 2007 Message

[xiv] 1968 Message, n. 52.

[xv] 1967 Message. n. 36.

[xvi] 1968 Message, n. 54.

[xvii] 1974 Message, n. 144.

[xviii] 1977 Message, n. 170.

[xix] 1977 Message, n. 173.

[xx] 1981 Message. n. 203 and n. 204.

[xxi] See this summary in the 1990 Message, n. 286.

[xxii] See for instance, the 1970 Message, n. 81

[xxiii] 1975 Message, n. 153

[xxiv] 1996 Message, n. 330 quoting Christifideles Laici, 34

[xxv] 1982 Message, n. 209.

[xxvi] The title of the 1982 Message is “life generates life”.

[xxvii] 1982 Message, n. 213.

[xxviii] 1995 Message, n. 323

[xxix] 1970 Message n. 85 see also 1983, 222

[xxx] 1970 Message, n. 86. See also the 1996 Message n. 344.

[xxxi] See Paul VI, General Audience, 5 May 1965, 17.

[xxxii] The Venerable Bede is quoted in the 1974 Message, n. 138: “The Lord who called Levi exteriorly with the word, with a divine inspiration prompted him interiorly that he might immediately follow Him who called him”

[xxxiii] 2007 Message. See also 1997 Message, 345 and 346.

[xxxiv] In the 1976 Message, n. 158, Pope Paul writes:“now it’s up to us… to welcome his word and give it; to live it and bear witness to it; to be evangelised and to evangelise”

[xxxv] See General Audience, 5 May, 1965.

[xxxvi] 1984 Message, n. 233.

[xxxvii] In his 1995 Message, n. 322, Pope John Paul points out that young people risk being deprived of authentic growth because they find no one to whom they can put the question the rich young man put: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”.

[xxxviii] 2003 Message, n. 392.

[xxxix] 1981 Message, n. 204

[xl]1989 Message, n. 277.

[xli] 1974 Message, n. 135. See also John Paul II, 1985 Message, 242.

[xlii] cf. New Vocations for a New Europe, 27c quoted in the 2003 message

[xliii] 1971 Message. n. 101

[xliv] 1974 Message, n. 136 and 1971 message,  n. 106

[xlv] 1974 Message, n. 136.

[xlvi] 1969 Message, n. 63 quoting Lumen Gentium, 31.

[xlvii] 2008 Message quoting John Paul II’s missionary encyclical, Redemptoris Missio, n. 66

[xlviii] General Audience, 5 May, 1965, n. 19.