Bishop Cullinan: “God is still calling and men are responding. We need priests and always will … we trust in God”

21 Nov 2023

  • Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan to address QUB Catholic Chaplaincy on vocations  

At 6.00pm this evening, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan will address members and guests of the Catholic Chaplaincy at Queen’s University, Belfast, on the theme, ‘Take the risk for Christ – Holy hour and Panel discussion’. 
Bishop Cullinan said, “seminarians start their training with the intention of being ordained for the priesthood, and thereby answering the call from Christ himself.  Last weekend 36 men from all over Ireland attended the annual ‘Come and See’ vocations weekend at the national seminary of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.  I am delighted to say that the level of interest meant that the event was oversubscribed.  For me this is a clear sign of hope. 
“We must always remind ourselves that this is God’s Church (Acts 20:28).  In answer to the naysayers, in contemporary Ireland there continues to be interest in the priesthood.  This reality is a clear indication that God is still calling, and that men are responding with generosity.  I wish to commend seminarians to God’s grace.  We need priests and always will.  The priesthood is a precious gift to the Church instituted by Christ and we move forward with hope, not because we trust in our human efforts, but because we trust in God.”
“I congratulate the Catholic Chaplaincy here at Queen’s for its work supporting students who are discerning the plan God has for them in life.  Within this culture of vocational discernment, students are encouraged to reflect on whether God is calling them to serve Him and His people as priests, religious women or within family and marriage.  Such support provides powerful witness to the faith.  I urge you all to grow your relationship and spend time with God in Eucharistic adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament; in His Word; in prayer; and, in community with others,” Bishop Cullinan said.
Panellists for this evening’s audience include, Father Thomas McGlynn, Parish Priest of Saint Malachy’s City Centre Parish, Belfast; Father Martin Mayerhoffer, European Chaplain for FOCUS and International Theological Institute, Vienna; Father John Joe Duffy, Curate in Creeslough, Donegal, Diocese of Raphoe; Father Dominic McGrattan, Chaplain to Queen’s University Belfast, former Chaplain to the Mater Hospital; and, Deacon Brett Lockhart KC, retired barrister, family man and permanent deacon.
The Year for Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood in Ireland concludes on Good Shepherd Sunday, 21 April 2024.  During this dedicated year, the Catholic Church across Ireland is making a special effort to promote and encourage discussions around vocations to the priestly life.  In support of this, the QUB Chaplaincy, in partnership with the student Knights of Saint Columbanus, is hosting this evening of prayer, reflection and discussion.

  • Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan is Bishop of Waterford & Lismore and chair of the Council for Vocations of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.