What is a vocation?

The word vocation comes from the Latin ‘vocare’, meaning ‘to call’ - so a vocation is a calling. Everyone has a vocation. Our first call is to love God and to be holy, or as Pope Francis put it not long ago, ‘to be saints is not a privilege for a few but a vocation for everyone.’

We are called to a particular kind of work, as St John Henry Newman says,‘God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.’

We are also called to different states of life - these are the vocations of single life, marriage, priesthood and religious life.

'Where our personal passions intersect with the needs of the world, there we find our vocation.'

Pope Benedict XVI

Discerning The Priesthood

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Our Seminarians

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Vocation Stories

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How do I know if God is calling me?

In one sense, this is an easy question to answer: God is calling everybody! It is the undeniable teaching of the Church that Jesus is calling every individual in history to 'repent' and 'follow me' (cf. Mk 1), being brought through baptism into membership of His Body, the Church. We are all called to follow in a new way of life so that, free from sin through Christ’s death and resurrection, we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

How can I discern my vocation?

To discern a vocation is to discover the person God wants you to be. The first step is to take seriously that God has called you to be a baptised person. He called you to baptism so that you could grow in love and in holiness of life, not only for your own sake but for the sake of others to whom you are sent. In your work, you may be called to be their teacher or their workmate or their boss. In your state of life, you may be called to be their marriage partner or their priest, or deacon, or their religious sister. You are called to serve and to call others.

Contact our Vocations Director

If you believe you have a call to the priesthood or religious life then you should contact our diocesan Vocations Director,
Fr Tristan Cranfield, E: vocations@abdiocese.org.uk or
T: 01323 723222. For more information about the priesthood and religious life, see:

The Diaconate

The Diaconate is a wonderful vocation within our Church. Deacons are ordained ministers who work alongside the parish priest, able to celebrate the sacraments of baptism and marriage. If you believe you have a call to the Diaconate whether as a single or married man then contact Diocesan Director of Deacon Formation, Rev Tim Murrill;
E: tim.murrill@abdiocese.org.uk or T: 07545 175448.
See www.diaconate.org.uk for more information.

Support for Married Couples and Families

Pope Francis has called marriage ‘the most beautiful thing God created’ and is such it is an incredibly valued vocation in the Church! Marriages can also be challenging and so the Church wants to support married people in living out their vocation.