Apostolic Blessing for Invocation

On the occasion of the Invocation 2011 Vocations Discernment Conference on 18th and 19th June 2011.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

presents His special greetings to His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, to his brother Bishops, and to all those persons who are participating in Invocation 2011, the second national Vocations Discernment weekend for England and Wales, taking place at St Mary’s College, Oscott.

The Holy Father, in his Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations this year affirmed: “It is a challenging and uplifting invitation that Jesus addresses to those to whom he says: “Follow me!” (MT 4:19). He invites them to become his friends, to listen attentively to his word and to live with him. He teaches them complete commitment to God and to the extension of his kingdom in accordance with the law of the Gospel: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it diesit bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24) He invites them to leave behind their own narrow agenda and their notions of self-fulfillment in order to immerse themselves in another will, the will of God, and to be guided by it”.

His Holiness cordially imparts to all the participants in Invocation 2011 and to their families and loved ones a special Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abundant graces from Our Blessed Lord.

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A time of great grace

This weekend has been full of wonderful surprises. The first this morning being that I managed to get an undisturbed night of rest. I made it to the chapel just in time for lauds and then rushed to breakfast. Andrea Velarde gave a very moving talk about her own vocation this morning as a lay consecrated woman working in the world. I was very touched by her gentle but assuring words about serving the Lord and our neighbour with God’s love, not our own. Looking forward to Mass at twelve! Everything this weekend has been pure grace and blessing. It will be difficult to return from this peaceful place. God has certainly brought communion and fellowship here amongst those gathered together in his name.

Callum Young.