Good Shepherd Sunday

This Sunday is ‘Good Shepherd Sunday’, World Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life. Fr Matt Anscombe, Vocations Director for Clifton Diocese, is asking, ‘what will you do to engage with the new 24H4V prayer campaign that all within the diocese are encouraged to participate in?’

As Fr Matt has been saying for the past couple of weeks, it’s not all about sitting around and praying, even though many parishes are offering extended times of prayer, which is great. If you can’t get find time for extra prayer, then perhaps you might offer your working day, or some other activity for the intentions contained in the booklets, which are available in all parishes. As Fr Matt discovered this weekend, you can achieve a lot in 24 hours. He rode from London to Paris in under 24 hours, offering the highs and lows of his cycle ride for all the intentions in the booklet. Fr Matt says the following about his ride and the opportunity presented to the diocese at this time:

13 hours of cycling; 195 miles covered; no sleep in over 36 hours. I’m sure it was all worthwhile seeing as my intention was to offer this intense physical and mental experience for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, and the other intentions highlighted in the 24H4V booklets. Having a good reason to cycle from London to Paris in under 24 hours made the savage headwind on the French side worthwhile; it made the long, cruel climbs at miles 160 and 170 seem useful; it gave purpose to the lack of sleep and the cloying taste of energy bars.

I really hope that many people in the diocese will simply take the 24H4V booklets and do what I did at the beginning of this ride; just say, “Lord, I offer this day’s work (or whatever effort it is you are going to endure), for these intentions. May the highs and lows of this day be united to you and may you bless the vocations ministry within our diocese”.

Many people have been surprised that I was not looking for sponsorship for this ride. Prayer was always the intention. However, if you feel moved by this effort and want to support our seminarians in training, please give generously in the second collection this weekend, which is for the Clergy Training Fund. Gift Aid envelopes are available in all parishes.

You can catch Fr Matt on BBC Radio Bristol this Sunday morning when he will be speaking with Lucy Tegg at 8.20am

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