May 7th 2006 – 4th Sunday of Easter

This fourth Sunday of Easter is set aside each year as a special day of prayer for vocations. We are asked to reflect on some very important questions about our Christian lives: What is a vocation? Who does God call? How does God call? Where do I fit into this picture? Often we limit our thoughts about the word 'vocation' to the call to the Priesthood or the Consecrated Life. These are essential elements of the life of the Church but they are not the whole picture. By virtue of our baptism  all of us are called to hear the voice of Christ, the Good Shepherd, leading us and guiding us. The words of Cardinal Newman, 'God has created me to do some definite service. He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission.' I now invite you to reflect with me on this simple fact of life and to ask ourselves: How is God calling me? How can I be most deeply fulfilled with the gifts God has given me?
It seems to me that there is an urgent need for us to re-capture a new sense of vocation that touches the whole Catholic community. Quite simply, we are and should be a 'vocational community' that listens attentively to the voice of the Good Shepherd, and respond generously. Indeed, our response to Christ in our lives is the very key to our deepest happiness and fulfilment as human beings. It is there, in the unfolding of the task given us by God, that our lives are given their shape and their meaning.
We all want to see more priests and religious to serve in our Diocese, now more than ever. There must be an urgent appeal to God for this to happen. However, I do not think this call will be fully answered unless we also concentrate on the vocation of every Christian by virtue of our Baptism. As we seek together to 'shape the Church to come', let us fervently ask God today and always for this intention. Vocations are the future of our Diocese and ultimately the future of the Church. Without the Priest there can be no Eucharist.

Prayer for Vocations
Heavenly Father, we praise you and we thank you
for all that you have done for us.
We thank you especially for sending you Son,
Jesus Christ, to visit and save us.
We ask you to bless our families and especially
those who are suffering in any way.
Give courage to those in our Parish
whom you invite to become priests and religious,
and grant them the generosity of mind and heart
to follow your call. May they bring good news
to our world today.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

New Opening Hours for CURA
CURA  offers confidential, private and free counselling and support services to anyone affected by an unplanned pregnancy – irrespective of marital status or religious affiliation. Offices at 34 Paul St (beside Paul St. Shopping Centre) open Mon. to Frid. 11am to 4pm. If you need someone to talk to, phone 4277544 or 1850622626.

Prayer and Reflection
In the Parish Centre every Monday evening at 7.30. Those who come find it very helpful. You are welcome to join the group on Monday evenings.

Morning Mass
In the coming weeks there will be one morning Mass at 10 am.

Bulletin by E-mail
Don't forget our email address:
Thank you to those who are now using this facility. All items –  by email and into the letter box at Presbytery – must be received by 4 pm on Thursday.
May we remind all contributors that we do not accept messages for the Bulletin which are left anonymously. Please include a name and phone number.

Cork Theology Forum
Sat. 27th May Silver Springs Hotel 9.45am � 3pm
Faith and Justice Speakers Fr. Sean Healy SMA, Director of CORI Justice Commission, and Fr. Peter McVerry SJ who runs hostels for homeless people, a detox centre and drug-free aftercare houses.
Bookings: Cork Theology Forum, 10 Wallaces Avenue, Ballinlough 087 2282134. See poster at back of Church.

Turners Cross Men's Club, The Care Centre, Capwell Rd.
Special Gramophone Session Wed. 10th May 7.30 � 9.30 pm.
New members welcome. Admission free.

Ursuline Service and Spirituality Programme
How about giving a week to exploring the Ursuline Way of Life through service, working with young people, and spirituality? Want to know more? For further information contact: Sr. Jean Browne, Ursuline Convent, Blackrock, Cork. Mobile:
087 9391669. Email:
Accommodation will be provided. Take the risk. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!

The Heart of it all
A Cistercian Nun was being interviewed about her calling in life. Getting ready with another salvo inferring the loneliness / irrelevance of her vocation, the interviewer prefaces his next question with 'Now, leaving Christ out of it, wouldn't you …' He never finished his point, as his guest firmly pointed out that that was the very nub of it – without Christ, no vocation, including hers made any sense. The point was well made. We can weigh up our situation in life, make comparisons, analyse and rationalise � but if we can't stay close to the heart of it all … everything falls apart. A couple in the rush and pressure of living can leave their original love untended. I similar way a newly wed, like a newly consecrated religious or priest can lose that first fervour, where everything is wonderfully new.
Anyone who's ever been married or committed in a relationship knows that there are times when that relationship will be full of tension, disappointment, and even flat-out coldness. It might feel dead, but you're smart enough to know that, for you, life lies there, not elsewhere. True in marriage, true in priesthood, true in religious life. 'I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me.'
The Big Bite RTE 13 February 2006.