Six ordinations in 12 months signals positive new energy

Six ordinations in a twelve-month period signals a positive new energy and life for the Catholic community of Westland, Canterbury and the Chatham Islands says the vocations director of the Christchurch diocese.

On his website Food For Faith Fr John O’Connor was commenting on a feature in the Press about the recent ordinations in Christchurch.

But he was disappointed that the report managed to turn a good news story on its head with the online version posted on sporting the headline: “three become priests while numbers receiving the call decline in New Zealand.”

“It was the online version that I read first and as I read I felt a gloom descending.

Tragically most who catch the headline would read no further and continue their lives with a reinforced merging of the words ‘priests’ and ‘decline.’

“A brief interview can do little more than convey an idea or two slanted with a personal, populist and often negative bias,” he said.

“However a personal participation in the gathering itself has the power to convey the beauty and significance of the event.”

O’Connor agrees that there are fewer people at Sunday Mass these days than when he was ordained thirty years ago, but he is not concerned by this.

“It is not our mission to be big and powerful. Our Christian history reminds us that secular, capitalist and commercial measures are unable to measure the beauty and power of life lived in loving relationship with Jesus Christ.”

O’Connor said that contrary to the suggestion of the Press article, a growing number of people, many newly awakened to the insatiable promises of secular opportunities, are seeking to give their lives within marriage and work commitments to wholeheartedly following a deeper, transcendent and divine calling.


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News category: New Zealand.

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