Wednesday, 18th January 2017
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart - Vocations

Lifers – A Celebration of Missionary Life

Posted on 31. Jan, 2013 by in Africa, Belonging, Communal Work, Compassion, International, Latest News, Openness, Prophetic, Solidarity

Fr. John Glynn

What would possess you to risk your life in the service of others, for decades, in one of the world’s toughest and most dangerous environments? In prison terms, 30 years is a life sentence. It is also the average period spent by Irish missionaries in the field, working in the service of the poor and oppressed, often in the most challenging, dangerous and brutal environments on earth. RTE’s documentary Lifers tells the story of two missionary priests and a sister who have done just that.

Sr. Pat Murray

Fr. John Glynn is a priest who runs the We Care Foundation in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, one of the world’s most dangerous cities. John, originally from County Clare, has spent five decades working in Papua New Guinea. Sr. Pat Murray is a Loreto sister who worked in education in Ireland and is now the executive in charge of Solidarity with South Sudan, an organization that is pooling the resources of 200 missionary orders towards the basic development needs of South Sudan, which is the newest country in the world. Fr. Pat Brennan is a Divine Word Missionary who has lived in Brazil for more than three decades and who fights for the human rights of indigenous Indians living in the Amazonian rain forest.

Vocations Sunday

Posted on 27. Apr, 2012 by in Communal Work, Community Life, Community Prayer, Compassion, Engaging Vocations, Latest News, Uncategorized

A modern take on Caravaggio's Call of St. Matthew

God encounters us ever anew, in the men and women who reflect His presence, in His Word, in the Sacraments and in the Eucharist“. Pope Benedict XVI

This coming Sunday is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It’s an annual event where the universal Church comes together to pray in a united way that men and women will be raised up by their communities to serve God in a special way as priests, sisters and brothers. It’s about a life of service, compassion and love. It’s about being open to hearing God’s call and resonding as best we can, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

On Sunday I’ll be part of a group celebrating a vocations event in Killarney ( You’ll find all the details below of this and a number of other events around Ireland ). We’re planning an afternoon based on the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. It’s perhaps one of the best stories in the Bible to illustrate the call of God in our lives. It begins with two disciples leaving Jerusalem, after the events of Holy Week. They’re on their way home, but in reality they are truly lost. All their dreams, their hopes had come to nothing, ending in a violent and inexplicable death on a cross. It’s not long before they Jesus himself catches up to them and continues to journey with them. He listens to their story, he hears the pain of their loss, but he challenges them to open their heart to the real meaning of His life and death. It’s only when they stop for the night at Emmaus and during the breaking of the bread that they realise who He is. The two disciples who return to Jerusalem are fundamentally different from the ones who left it earlier that day.

A number of things strike me about that story. Firstly when the disciples meet Jesus on the road He has caught up with them and slows to their pace to hear their story. His revelation is gradual. He listens to what they have to say. He doesn’t reveal himself immediately, but using their experience he shows them how His life, death and resurrection were inextricably bound together. We’re told that their hearts burned within them as they walked along the road. How often has Christ journeyed at your side, particularly when you’ve felt lost, guiding you and watching over you? More often than not we haven’t been able to discern His presence until afterwards.

Next when they reach Emmaus Jesus makes as if to travel on, but at their invitation he stays for a meal. When we speak of vocation we are really talking about invitation. God first extends the invitation to us as His children, calling us to serve Him and one another in love. But this can only take effect when we accept it. God will never force us or coerce us in how we choose to live our lives, however in responding generously to Him we have the opportunity to make a real difference in our world. The Gospel message of compassion, forgiveness and faith has never been more relevant.

Finally we have that wonderful moment of revelation in the breaking of bread. Because of their openness to God, even in spite of their doubts, the two disciples finally recognise that Jesus had been with them all along. As soon as they realise it though He leaves them, because He has achieved what He set out to do. Their eyes have been opened and their faith has been restored. At the beginning of the story they didn’t know where they were going, but now the direction is clear and they immediately return to the other disciples to share the good news. As the disciples recognised Jesus in the breaking of the bread maybe we can open our eyes to recognising Him in one another. Maybe we can look at those around us with new eyes, seeing people who are called, who are beloved, who are touched by the divine.


Killarney Vocations Event

Join with us on this World Day of Prayer for Vocations for an Emmaus pilgrimage through the ground of the beautiful Muckross Park. We’ll begin at Muckross Abbey, at 1.00pm, with a short prayer service. We’ll then walk the three miles to the Franciscan Friary for Mass led by Fr. Alan Neville MSC. This will be followed by refreshements. (transport available from Railway Station car park to Muckross from 12.15 pm)

All are welcome

Enquiries: 086 7857955


Dublin Vocations Event – Clontarf

WHERE:  At the statue of Our Lady of the Port of Dublin, Dollymount, Clontarf for an hour of prayer for vocations. All are welcome.

WHEN:  Sunday   29th April 2012      3.00pm -4.00 pm


Dublin Vocations Event – Blackrock

On the 29th of April 2012 at 5pm, you are invited for a Hour of Prayer for Vocations in the Chapel of Adoration, Disciples of the Divine Master,White’s Cross, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.


Limerick Vocations Event

A Eucharistic celebration to mark World Day of Prayer for Vocations will take place in St. Michael’s Church Limerick at 4pm. All are welcome to attend.


Armagh Vocations Event – Mellifont Parish

There will be an hour of Eucharistic adoration from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Church of the Assumption, Tullyallen on this special day of prayer for vocations, Sunday April 29th.


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