The group that I was with from my University Chaplaincy arrived to mid-afternoon ahead of the Via Crucis on the Friday in order to secure a good spot in order to see the Holy Father as he drove past on his way to preside over the liturgy, which was due to start at 19:30.

However, at 18:30 myself and another lad from the group needed to go to the toilet. So set off to find them pushing ourselves against the tide of people  trying to get closer to where everything would be taking place. Get through the crowd, finding, queuing and doing left us only 10 mins to get back to our group before the liturgy started. Miracles happen – but apparently God had a different plan (as per usual).

Whilst we tried to attempt to push ourselves as far forward as we could – in order to get back to the group. We admitted defeat when we got to a group from East Anglia, who were reading the prayers for each of the stations from the Magnificat.

Towards the end of the Via Crucis, and even more so afterwards, the group – made up mainly of girls – began being pushed and shoved around by the crowd who seemed to be coming at us from all sides. Now, I’m not exactly Mr. Muscle, but I’m not Louis Spence either, and my friend is certainly built like a wall so we proved quite useful at protecting the group from the majority of those pushing and shoving.

In return for our heroics we were invited by the group to dinner at a Mexican near their hotel. Over dinner we chatted about what we were doing. The group, made up mainly of people who had just finished their GCSEs (and therefore will have got their results today*) seemed well-informed as to what they planned to do at college and even some afterwards.

One young man whom I was speaking to already knew that he wanted to go to University, and what he wanted to study etc. So I asked, him about what he wanted to do after he finished his degree. To which he replied: “Well, I don’t know yet, we’ll see…”

The reason that I have recalled this here is because that is the very answer that I used to give people when I knew full well that I wanted, God-willing, to be a Priest. And on occasion I still give people this answer, when I am not quite confident enough to tell them.

Now, I have absolutely no idea as to whether this lad is thinking of the Priesthood. I didn’t ask him. But why didn’t I ask him? I knew he was Catholic. I knew he was conscientious enough to have provisionally planned the next five years of his life. What is so wrong with asking: “Have you thought about Priesthood?” or “Have you thought of becoming a Religious?”

There is nothing wrong with this! So come on, let’s get people thinking (at least) about their true Christian Vocation.

*From what I have heard so far, all of their results have gone well – Thanks be to God!

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