BY Amanda Connelly | April 27 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Help guide those who feel the call to the priesthood

Following his 40th anniversary celebrations, AMANDA CONNELLY speaks to Mgr Millar about vocations

Bishops, clergy and the faithful gathered at a packed Our Lady of Lourdes Church in East Kilbride last week, as they came together for a ‘great celebration’ of prayer and thanksgiving for Mgr Thomas Millar, as he marked the ruby anniversary of his ordination.

Fr Tom Devine, the homilist at the anniversary Mass, noted that ‘40 years is a long time; 40 years is a lifetime’—an occasion worth celebrating with joy.

On those 40 years, the monsignor shared some of what he has learned during his years as a priest, and of understanding the different circumstances of others.

“I think one of the things you learn is that to try and keep your high ideals, but at the same time you have to work in the real world,” he said. “I hope that, after 40 years, you’re a bit more aware of people’s situations, much more sensitive to the difficulties that people sometimes have in life.

“I think that now, 40 years on, I think so much has changed in the world, society, and in the Church and in the parishes.”

He also highlighted the importance of working together, to capture ‘the resources, the talent’ of the people in the parish and to ‘use them, harvest them, for the good of the parish but also for the good of the Church.’

“Working together is probably the big thing; priests and people working together,” he added.

At last week’s Mass, Mgr Millar encouraged those present to keep praying for vocations, asking them to ‘continue to pray not just for me but for all priests, as we continue to minister to you,’ and carrying on praying with ‘great Faith and hope in the Lord’ that Scotland will have more priests to serve its communities.

He echoed those words once more, drawing on the beautiful image of the harvest as he spoke of the importance in praying for vocations.

“There’s a harvest out there to be harvested,” he said. “It’s up to us to work with the Lord, but to pray, because it’s not our own initiatives, our own working, our own ideas. Those are important, but it’s got to be, as the Psalmist says, if the Lord does not build the house, the labourers build in vain.”

Mgr Millar encouraged those who feel called to a vocation, whether to the priesthood, religious life or deaconate, to speak to someone—be it a chaplain at university, a local priest in your parish, or the diocesan vocations director.

“If someone feels called to the priesthood, or to the religious life, or to the deaconate, then they need people to mentor them, to guide them, and to help them,” he said. “That’s families, that’s parish communities, that could be friends as well, and obviously priests on the ground, whether it’s university chaplaincies, or school chaplaincies, or in the parish itself.

“I think maybe one of the things I’ve said in the past quite a lot would be to pray for the grace to know and discern God’s will in life, and then secondly to pray for the grace to accept that will, and the third thing is the grace to carry that will out, to do the will of God.”

Ordained at St Joseph’s Church, Cardowan on March 31, 1978, Mgr Millar has served in Sacred Heart, Bellshill; St Serf’s, Airdrie; St Bride’s, Cambuslang; St Margaret’s, Airdrie; St Luke’s, Motherwell; St Francis Xavier’s, Carfin; Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral, Motherwell, and now in Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, as well as holding other diocesan positions including MC, Lourdes pilgrimage director, vicar general, and looking after Carfin Grotto.

He is pictured above following the anniversary Mass.

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