You don’t retire from a vocation says Fr Michael
BY JOHN MCLAURIN
“You don’t retire from a vocation,” Fr Michael Mullen said after celebrating his last Mass as a parish priest on December 31.
“Everybody has a vocation,” he says.
“Every person is equally called to be who they were created to be by God.”
The former parish priest of Page and Aranda says Baptism is the visible sign of this awesome reality.
“It’s all God’s doing, God’s work,” he said.
Fr Mullen says his final celebration of Mass as parish priest on December 31 marked the end of a role.
He places emphasis on the word ‘parish’, illustrating that he still has a role to play as priest.
“A new phase begins for me,” he said.
“While no longer having the responsibility and all that goes with that title, the underlying vocation remains.
“Christian, priestly people, priest – this is what we are.
“What we do follows on from this, who were are.
“To do, follows to be.”
Born and raised in Forbes, Fr Mullen was ordained a priest at St Laurence’s Church, on August 22, 1975, by Archbishop Thomas Cahill.
“Bishop Douglas Warren (then bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes) made comment at the ordination about his diocese sending missionaries to Canberra,” he recalled.
Making some observations about the Church today, Fr Mullen said the emphasis now should be on a renewed sense of listening, one of contemplation.
He says it is important to seek answers to questions about what the vocation to be Church is, especially as Church community in 2018.
“We need to discuss what it means to be co-workers, being co-responsible,” he said.
“As Church we are one and we share the journey, helping one another carry our burdens.”
Fr Mullen says in his experience Christians minister God’s kindness and gentleness to each other, moreover, that every day we experience and share, joy and sorrow, light and darkness, death and life.
And he highlighted the importance of humour in our lives.
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” he said.
“But we do take God seriously.”