Wednesday, 1 April 2009

31 Blessed Years

I celebrate 31 years of priesthood today. Yes, I know, it's April Fools Day. At the end of my ordination Mass, Archbishop Murphy urged the congregation "Would that we had more 'fools for Christ'!" Someone recently showed me a copy of our archdiocesan yearbook from 1979, complete with picture of yours truly. More on top of the head, less round the waist...
I sadly pondered the priesthood statistics. Looking back at the 30 priests ordained previous to me, I counted that 9 have left the active priesthood. I wonder if we would be having these discussions about the future of the Church in Cardiff if they and others were still around? Then I looked at the long list of 23 - yes 23 - seminarians in 1979, compared with 1 now... Has so much happened in 31 years? I can't believe all this really, and it makes me quite upset. Issues about celibacy and so on were surely not that different then - or were they? What's gone wrong? Dear readers, would you help me out on this one? Meanewhile, please watch this vocations promotion video from the American bishops, and tell me what you think. I find it inspiring.

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