Friday, August 31, 2012

What is missing?

What is missing?

The first image is from a Irish Jesuit vocations poster, the second for the diocese of Derry.
I became a priest because I wanted to follow Jesus Christ and give him my whole life.

Is Jesus Christ missing from the Irish Church and the priesthood there? From these two efforts one could well be led to believe so.
Pretty well gives us a clue to what is at the heart and soul of the Church, eh?
Thanks to Rorate


gemoftheocean said...

What's missing? A firing squad? At the very least a match to burn said posters. The second one is especially obnoxious. Look how tiny the words 'sacraments' is. IT gets lost in all the rest of it. What's the point of being a priest if the sacraments aren't number one? That's the priest's prime reason for being what he is!

Malvenu said...

"Confessor" also appears to be missing from both - unless on the second one it is very, very small and on the first it has been replaced by "listener"!

Supertradmum said...

Falling in love with Christ leads to the recognition of a vocation. Loving the Church does as well, as she is the Bride of Christ.

Love,decision, commitment.

Mr Grumpy said...

Well, to be fair there's a cross somewhere on the t-shirt. But apart from that it does seem to be pretty much "all about me".

Anonymous said...

Father Blake,

What I have been thinking lately is that in these islands we don't have the resources or the vision that pertains in some parts of the United States.

There is no Catholic TV or radio media here and very few well-known orthodox speakers or commentators (your good self, other bloggers and some Catholic journalists excepted, of course). There is one whole hour on a Sunday evening on Premier Radio which consists of endless re-runs of the same two (old) programmes. And no EWTN unless one has satellite television.

I have seen some very effective vocations videos and materials from the States and some very good resources aimed at the New Evangelisation.

Like this:

I know that it is a different culture in the US and there is a great deal more money around but it does seem odd to me that there is so very little publicity or promotion.

I don't know what you or others think, Father...I'd be grateful for anyone's thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Father Blake

I know that the Church and the Catholic community in the United States has a great deal more money and a different culture but I have seen some very effective use of the media - including videos, TV and radio to promote vocations - and the New Evangelisation. Like this:

Or these...(I can't vouch for the quality or content, but it gives some idea of how much activity there is):

I am not sure why there is so little activity in these islands. Your good self, some other bloggers and some Catholic journalists excepted, of course.

I would be grateful to have yours and others' thoughts.

gemoftheocean said...

Upon reflection, I can well remember how when I was in grade school in the 60s, there would often be a 'vocations fair' held at school where priests and nuns from various religious orders used to come set up booths in the school gymnasium and we were free to wander around and pick up literature about the different orders of priests, brothers and nuns. We would also occasionally get talks from missionary priests/nuns. And their stories about spreading the faith were always interesting. Even though we were young children, at least the seed was planted that some of us might have a vocation.

Also, I think much overlooked is the reading material we were fed on when quite young. I can remember two different series readers we had -- we were past the 'See spot run stage' -- about aged 8 or so. There were running story lines throughout the book -- but they also nurtured us with tales of great saints -- and I think on reflection they were good for inspiring the young about the heroics it can take to proclaim the Catholic faith. I can specifically recall the the story of St. Tarcisius being one of the stories, as well as another about Isaac Joques. -- Who is going to capture the interest of a young boy more do you think? A fellow who proclaims the faith to 'Red Indians' and gets his tongue cut out -- or Father who goes out to be a social worker? In other words, in a very concrete way we were made to understand that standing up for the faith was a very brave and bold thing to do. It was inculcated from an early age (and I dare say the message was even strong in the 40s and 50s -- my generation was the last to have such things -- by the time I taught CCD myself at age 19 -- all that had been swept from the books, and new rather insipid blather about kumbaya etc. had taken hold. Who is going to be fired up about that? Particularly young boys? Metrosexual, if you will. Boys and girls need heroes. And where have they gone (Joe diMaggio....)?

And not only were reminded about saints 'a long time ago' -- in America at least our Catholic comic books pretty well underscored the bravery it took to be a priest in China, Russia, indeed any Communist country. Priests and nuns fought 'Godless communism' [and now, too many, at least in the 70s and 80s were attracted by hippies -- feh.)

parepidemos said...

For goodness sake, these groups are at least trying to get vocations, and in present day Ireland that's a massive struggle. Yet, all I read here are negative comments. Some people really do need to get a life.

Fr Ray Blake said...

They might well be "trying" but are failing to such an extent that the Irish Church once so rich in vocations is dying for lack of priests, there are only 12 applicants this year for all the Irish dioceses.

These two "Christless" adverts seem to show an important part of the problem, they are certainly not part of the solution.

Unknown said...

The word 'Jesus' is there, stuck between the L and Y of family but it's so small it's easy to miss. Christ is there at the right-hand edge but again, it's cut off, and who knows, it could be 'Christian'. The word 'Mass' is also tiny. Just goes to show what they think the focus of the priesthood should be. Not Christ or the celebration of the sacraments but getting all touchy-feely about community and family. Of course these things matter but I can't understand why they should be highlighted at the expense of the Son of God.


Omphalomancer said...

Wrong, I am sure, even to think along such lines but...
In the first image the words philosopher, ?ecologist and is it refugee seem to lie perilously close to the young man's genitals. But then in the small print of the second image the word, "stays" appears several times; is this in relation to corsetry or to specific residential placements?

fxr2 said...

My immediate thought was 'sacrifice' Because a priest's life is a sacrifice, and is to offer 'the Sacrifice'.

John Fisher said...

Where is "fashion victim', "dandruff", "comb over" and banality? Too many words! This is a confuson of words. A man is defined by what he does not what is in his head or in slogans. Ireland was infected by priests who went abroad and then returned carrying the virus with them. It was also within the Irish Church where a stripped down Catholic Faith consisting of obedience to the changing vicitudes of authority rather than the Tradition in its entirety prevailed.

Long-Skirts said...

fxr2 said...

"My immediate thought was 'sacrifice' Because a priest's life is a sacrifice, and is to offer 'the Sacrifice'."


“They have abandoned the Fort, those
who should have defended it.” (St. John Fisher)

Who held the Fort
Till the Calvary came
Fighting for all
In His Holy Name?

Who fed the sheep
As the pastures burned dry
A few Good Shepherds
Heeding their cry?

Who led the charge
‘Gainst heresy’s Huns
Defending the degreed
To His lowliest ones?

Who battened down
The hatch of the barque
To warm cold souls
From shivering-seas dark?

“Who?” mocks Satan
Delighting in doubt
Fills you with questions,
Never lets you find out.

“Hoc est enum
Corpus meum…
…and for many" who kept
The dead words – Te Deum!

Shane said...

John Fisher, what exact 'virus' did the Irish clerical disapora diffuse when they returned home? Can you please be specific?

I also have to disagree with your contention that the Irish Church taught "a stripped down Catholic Faith". Read the Maynooth Catechism and Sheehan's Apologetics - once staples of primary school education. I think you'll find that they transmit a very traditional faith and that there was nothing "stripped down" about them.

John Fisher said...

Many Irish clergy were in the USA where they picked up golf, altar smashing, coffee table Masses, feminism, the pill/contraception and liberal theology without letting go of clericalism. The idea of tolerance of all religions/ relativism. Yet in Catholic Ireland these expediencies did not belong. Using the old authority and clerical approach they poisoned each other and the laity under a false obedience. This also happened in other countries of the Irish diaspora. Obedience was used to destroy. Well now Catholics are told freedom is an absolute and everything we had was wrong....authority was used to disconnect and nullify. How many Irish priests have I met in the USA and Australia who are just unthinking men who encourage others to sin. For sure the Irish preserved the Faith…but it was and is a rather stripped down basic type of faith unable to withstand the fruit of the French Revolution… which is freedom to do anything and everything. Our Irish priests used to say “the Pope tells the bishops who tell the priests who tell the laity”. Ignorant and clearly a view that is stupid! Authority in Ireland used the priests club to destroy.

Shane said...

John your comment is, with all due respect, facile and ignorant tosh. All those things were being promoted in Ireland in the liberal climate of the 1960s. Only a tiny minority of priests in Ireland have studied in the USA. Your point about 'a stripped down faith' is still unsubstantiated. I challenge you to study the religious education in use in primary schools up until Vatican II- you will look in vain for any catechetical material in the Church today of similar spiritual substance. Insofar as post-conciliar secularization in Ireland differed from the European norm, it was largely remarkable in how much more slowly it made its mark. A testimony to the vitality and strong faith of the Irish Church up until the Council

John Fisher said...

Shane I do not know if you appreciate the lines of communication that exist amongst clergy? These are often based upon nationality. You ignore the LARGE numbers of Irish clergy here there and everywhere. Being English speakers and with the USA as part of the IRISH diaspora many of those ideas you talk of came FROM the USA. They gestated in the same atmosphere as the civil rights movement. I am old enough to remember the 1960's.
What marks out Irish Catholicism is the strong and authoritative role of priests as arbiters of God's will...Most often the priests will. It works when laity do not question it. It is a disaster when the clergy are liberal and ask you to destroy all that culturally links you to the Catholic Faith. As when a priest asks you to knock the head off a statue. Or the priest burns his vestments, or repudiates and coerces you to join him.That is the problem in Ireland even now. The Church is using its cultural authority to promote a foreign liberal version of religion. Yet the laity either submit or oppose. Its time for a catholicism in Ireland that is obedient to the Tradition and the priest in as much as he truely conveys that.....not himself. It was the clergy in Ireland who brought the infection.

Fr Ray Blake said...

John Fisher,
Does this not apply to France or Belgium too?

gemoftheocean said...

John, please. Any problems in the Irish clergy are IRISH induced. Don't lay this on America. Americans QUESTION things, and don't automatically bow down and kiss the priest's foot. By custom, Americans will assume that a priest is a stand up guy, unless he exhibits questionable tactics or behavior. Then we vote with our feet and hike over to another parish -- we are NOT chained to a parish. So if a priest is a total authoritarian jerk, we leave. Don't go pointing the finger at America -- you sound like Obama -- everything is 'Bush's fault.' Like a 5 year old blaming his big sister for the cookie jar he broke.
The Irish born priests we have are getting long in the tooth and Ireland hasn't exported many to America in quite some time. The vast majority of them become US citizens. While they are fond of 'the auld sod' any many make a visit every few years to visit family and friends, they're not exactly clamoring to retire there.

Anne said...

We need Priests here in Ireland who have a deep and personal relationship with Christ. The Church in Ireland is in a desperate need for new and good leadership which I pray for daily. Thank God for the new Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown who is breathing new life back into a very apathetic and lukewarm Church.

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