We know from the life of St. Martin that he was a great supporter of the younger brothers in formation. Those preparing for the priesthood always found him encouraging and a source of comfort when they found life difficult. We also know that he was well able to converse with them on theological matters. One student who was particularly bright was annoyed that this simple lay-brother could challenge him on the serious points of theology. What this young man was discovering by reading and study, the brother with the brush knew through prayer and divine assistance. St. Martin’s humility and simplicity hid his considerable intellectual gifts.
This care for the novices and students in formation has always been a central concern of the St. Martin’s Apostolate since its foundation. Thanks to your continued generosity we are able to provide for the intellectual, spiritual, pastoral and human formation of our students for the Irish Dominican Province and those of other provinces. Over the years, thanks to your charity, we have assisted the formation processes in India, Africa, Asia and throughout the Dominican world.
At this time God is blessing us in the Irish Province with both novices and students. At present we have four novices in Cork and twelve students in Dublin. As well as that we have brothers studying in Rome and we also support brothers from India and other Provinces.
The blessing of vocations is a supernatural blessing. The roots of a priestly and religious vocation come from God alone. Therefore, we must pray for the grace of vocations in the Church. The Lord Himself commanded us to pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into the harvest. I am appealing to you to pray each day for the supernatural grace of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, especially to the Dominican Order.
Also, I ask that you pray for the grace of perseverance for those already in formation. Young men and women today who are responding generously to the call of the Lord often experience great opposition from family and friends let alone the wider society. God’s grace is needed deep in their souls for them to continue to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd as they make progress through the years of formation and study.
I know that with your support both spiritually through your prayers and sacrifices and financially through your generosity we will endeavour to respond to the challenge of today’s Church and today’s world.
On behalf of the Irish Province and of the St. Martin’s Apostolate I thank you for your kindness as assure you of our spiritual supports to you through our prayers and sacrifices. The Second Vatican Council reminded us that we are all in this together as a Church. Our support for each other is mutual and life-giving.
May St. Martin, the chartable, continue to intercede for you and bless you with the graces you need in your life of communion with God and meeting the challenges of life in the midst of this fragile world.