Vocations Conference 2001 at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth
29 June 2001
The European Vocations Service hosts its annual conference Eu Vocatio 2001, this weekend at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. The delegates, who come from 20 European Countries, are the National Co-ordinators for Vocations Ministry in their own countries. This annual conference presents an opportunity for them to exchange information, and to share ideas on how a truly vocational culture can be developed within the Church.
A total of 56 delegates are participating in the Conference, including lay people, priests, and religious. Among the countries represented are Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Switzerland, and all the
countries of the European Union.
This years Conference was inaugurated on Thursday 28th June by Bishop Alois Kothgasser of Innsbruck, who is the delegate of the Committee of European Bishops’ Conferences.
Earlier this morning, Bishop Martin Drennan, (auxiliary bishop in Dublin) addressed the delegates on The call to Discipleship in the New Testament, a model for Vocations Ministry. Among the more important qualities that vocations personnel should look for in candidates for the priesthood and religious life, Bishop Drennan included a healthy acceptance of self, the capacity to get on with people, a desire for this way of life which has been felt over a length of time, a desire to pray, and a willingness to make sacrifices.
“The two pillars of growth in discipleship,” Bishop Drennan said, “are knowledge of Jesus, and knowledge of self. For most, coming to terms with mixed motives, with fears, with masked prejudices, is a painful but a freeing process….. As vocations personnel, it is our hope that those we accept into our formation programmes will joy in living their vocation, and pass on that joy through their ministry.”
Cardinal Connell will be the principal celebrant at the opening Mass at lunchtime today. The Apostolic Nuncio, Dr Giuseppe Lazzarotto will be among the concelebrants.
On Saturday morning, the delegates will be addressed by Dr Cait O’Dwyer, an Irish Sister of Mercy, working at the Institute of Psychology at the Gregorian University, Rome on the topic: Using the Insights of Psychology in Vocational Discernment. ”
The delegates will take a break from their work on Saturday evening, to visit the the ancient monastic site of Glendalough, Co Wicklow, which is the spiritual cradle of the Archdiocese of Dublin. One of the first Archbishops of Dublin, St. Laurence O’Toole, was abbot of Glendalough in the twelth century.
The Conference concludes on Sunday 1 July.
Fr Martin Clarke 087 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm 087 233 7797