Sydney's Vocation Centre Releases Events for 2016

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
8 Jan 2016

Fr Epeli Qimaqima, Vocations Director Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

As the Year of Consecrated Life draws to a close in February, the Sydney Vocation Centre looks back on an eventful and rich year of fostering vocations and anticipates an even greater grace-filled 2016, with an exciting calendar of events.

The Archdiocese of Sydney's Vocation Centre had an extremely busy 2015, which included the appointment of Fr Epeli Qimaqima as Vocations Director, and Lorena Portocarrero, Superior of Sydney's Marian Community of Reconciliation (Fraternas) as Vocations Promoter for the Archdiocese. In addition to the scheduled retreats and events that the Vocations Centre run annually, the team also took an active role in activities surrounding the Year of Consecrated Life, which was launched by Pope Francis on 21 November 2014 and will continue until February this year.

The Year of Consecrated Life gives way to an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, called for by Pope Francis which began on 8 December 2015 and will conclude on 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King. The Vocation Centre is looking forward to the great opportunities provided by this special Holy Year to shine the light on the gift of vocations, enriched by the Mercy of God.

Fr Epeli Qimaqima explained the priesthood is the love of the Merciful Heart of Jesus to the Church saying, "the Church needs more priests because we all need God's mercy".

"Mindful of this and under the pastoral guidance of Archbishop Fisher, the Vocation Centre draws inspiration to 'cast out into the deep' and assist young men to see the need for good and holy priests, discern their calling and rise up to say yes to God for people's salvation" he said.

"We need prayers for this important task."

A visit from Fr Jacques Philippe features in the 2016 Vocation Centre program for 2016

The scheduled events for 2016 will feature international speakers, as well as Australian priests and religious, all of whom have inspiring stories to share and moving insights to encourage men and women as they discern where God is calling them to serve.

One of the first events of the year will be the annual 40 Hours for Vocations, which is a weekend of Adoration and Prayer at the good Shepherd Seminary in Homebush. All are welcome to visit the Seminary from 4-6 March to pray for vocations for our Archdiocese.

The following weekend, the Seminary will host the first of two Vocations Retreats for men who may be discerning a vocation to the priesthood. The dates set aside for these retreats are 11-13 March at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, and 24-26 June 2016 at Schoenstatt Spirituality Centre. 

In April, the Vocation Centre will host a Women's Day Retreat for those discerning Consecrated Life, and on 8 May, the Archdiocese will celebrate a World Day of Prayer for Vocations, inviting all the faithful to pray for those discerning.  

In August 2016, renowned priest, speaker and author Fr Jacques Philippe will be visiting Australia for the second time, and will be running a number of retreats and activities in Sydney. This includes a post-WYD Vocations Retreat for young people to be held in Hartzer Park from 19 - 21 August, a Retreat for Priests also in Hartzer Park from 21 - 25 August, and a general retreat on 27 August for all the faithful of the Archdiocese. Fr Jacques will also be speaking at a special Family Day at the Schoenstatt Spirituality Centre on 28 August to conclude his visit to Sydney.
For more information about these events, and to sign up to the Vocation Centre newsletter, visit