BY Ian Dunn | July 7 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

6-BISHOP-JOHN-KEENAN

Recruits to priesthood in Scotland hit 20-year high

Bishop Keenan hail ‘great news’ as 12 ordinations boost drive to ‘restore Christian strength’

THE number of priestly ordinations in Scotland has hit a 20-year high—with 12 this year.

The last year with 12 Scottish ordinations was 1997 and Bishop John Keenan, President of Priests for Scotland, said: “It is great news to see the biggest number of ordinations to the priesthood for over two decades.

“On top of that there seems to be a general rise in the number of men approaching our vocations directors to apply for seminary.

“I want to thank our people who have been praying faithfully in their daily Rosary groups for vocations all these years and who now have the joy of seeing God answer their prayers.”

The bishop said Scotland’s vocation directors also deserved praise for ‘putting together new structures with fresh ideas, through social media and monthly get-togethers and the like, to help identify and accompany those who feel God calling them. We can see this good work beginning to pay off.’

He said the Church was hearing from ‘growing numbers of women with new interest in the religious life to provide for the many needs of the marginalised or excluded in our society.’

“What is becoming increasingly clear, I think for all of us, is that our country needs spiritual leaders to take over the reins from our political leaders in order to guide us out of a cultural decline that is now beyond the power of politics to solve,” Bishop Keenan said.

“There is a huge amount to be done to restore to Scotland the Christian strength whose absence lies at the heart of so many of our recent and most perplexing anxieties and there is a sense that God is raising up just such leaders for this task of our times.”

Four men have been ordained to the priesthood in the past ten days, with more waiting in the wings.

Five priests will be ordained for Motherwell Diocese this year, one for Glasgow Archdiocese, one for Paisley Diocese, two for Aberdeen Diocese, two for the Scottish Ordinariate and one Salesian.

The last year so many priests were ordained was 1997. Since then there has been an average of five priests a year ordained and in 2008 there were no ordinations at all.

Fr Jonathan Whitworth was ordained in St Andrew’s Greenock last Friday and he wants to see more men follow in his footsteps.

“It takes a real man to be a priest, I really have to state that. You are called to be a father of all families yet not having one of your very own, so it takes heroism. I have to say that young men are calling out for something that is radical because they have been sold something of a false reality by the world at the moment,” he said.

“By radical I mean you give your all to it; you take your chance with God. If you want more priests, show our youngsters good, holy priests and they will want to be a part of it.”

 

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