Roman Catholic Church

Holy Orders and Vocations

Wednesday 4/10/17: Our Lady & St Wulstan, Southam
Thursday 5/10/17: Our lady & St Benedict Wooton Wawen

 Monastic Experience Weekend Friday 27th - Sunday 29th October 2017.

The Benedictine monks of Douai Abbey invite men aged 18-40 to a weekend exploring our Monastic Experience Initiative. In other religious traditions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, people often spend a fixed period of time in a monastery as part of their spiritual formation before returning to their lives in the world. Our Programme makes this possible for men in the Roman Catholic tradition.
The weekend will be an opportunity to find out more about the programme, to meet with and pray alongside the monks, and to explore the possibility of participating in the Monastic Experience Programme.
The event will appeal to those seeking to deepen their faith by drawing upon the Benedictine tradition, and to those discerning a vocation to the religious life and priesthood.

Contact: Fr Gabriel Wilson OSB
0118 971 5310


 An insight into the Priesthood

The work of a parish priest is extremely onerous but immensely rewarding. I am sometimes mystified by the vocations crisis as for me the priesthood is the best job in the world. What could be a greater privilege than being a bridge between God and others and gathering God’s family together at the Eucharist? The work is varied and stimulating. You meet all sorts of people, far more than most jobs, of all different backgrounds and characters and are given unique access into many different homes and become part of many different families.

You are helping people at key moments of their lives, birth, marriage and death and doing something useful by providing comfort and inspiration. You play a key role in the local community and are selling the best product in the world: eternal life! It is something our world is desperately searching for: God himself. In this Douai outpost on the monastic frontier we are enjoying the struggle of trying to bring Stratfordians to those loftier heights of learning and virtue of which St Benedict so eloquently speaks.

Fr Alexander Austin

Holy Orders

St Gregory's Stratford Holy Orders - Chrism Mass, St Chads, Birmingham

Holy Orders, in the Catholic Church, is the sacrament through which men are ordained as deacons, priests and bishops. It maintains the continuity of the apostles whereby each ordained person is ordained by a successor of an original apostle of Jesus Christ.

Today ordination is reserved for the sacramental act of integrating a man into the order of bishops, presbyters (priests) or deacons. This integration has greater solemnity than a simple election or delegation from the community because it confers a gift of the Holy Spirit (grace) that permits the exercise of the sacred power which can only come from Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).

Who can be ordained? Why aren’t there female priests? At this time, only baptized men can receive this sacrament. The Magisterium (the Bishops in unity with the Pope) has taught that the Church has no right to ordain women because Jesus did not appoint women to the position of apostles. This is considered part of the deposit of faith that has been handed on and that no one can change. Another argument for exclusive male ordination is that since Jesus was male, he is most closely represented by males.

Ordination is seen by the church as a calling by God - as distinct from a right or career - and so candidates for Holy Orders are asked to go through a process of discernment before being accepted for training.

"Give me holy priests, and I will give you a holy people" was the motto of Pope Pius Xl. The leadership role of the priest, following the pattern of Jesus, is indispensable for the transmission of the Faith and the administration of the Sacraments. The renewal of the priesthood is one of the priorities of the Church. Our priests, as custodians of the Mysteries of God, are the very arteries of the Church, through which the lifeblood of grace - the divine life - flows to us. That is why the patron saint of priests, the holy Cure of Ars said: "Without the Sacrament of Holy Orders we would not have the Lord. Who put him there in the Tabernacle? The priest. Who welcomed your soul at the beginning of your life? The priest. Who feeds your soul and gives it strength for its journey? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God, bathing it one last time in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest, always the priest." Let us ask the Mother of God, the Mother of all priests, that many young men may hear the call of God, and then be able to find in their families and in the Church the fertile soil to nourish their vocation.


Every Christian is called by God and has a vocation to live out their faith in the pursuit of holiness as God intended. As part of that vocation it is also to share the Good News and word of a loving God, but we have a very special obligation to pray for vocations to the priesthood.

The Warwick Deanery Vocations Promotion Group meets every month to promote prayers and a greater awareness of the need for vocations to the priesthood. It is also very active in holding vocations days in primary schools throughout the Deanery - as in St Gregory’s earlier this year.

“Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community. .. Vocations are born in prayer and from prayer; and only through prayer can they persevere and bear fruit. Let us invoke the intercession of Mary who is the Woman of the 'yes'. Mary said 'yes' throughout her life!" Pope Francis, Regina Coeli, 2nd April 2013

Among the many pastoral concerns of the world's bishops, encouraging vocations to the priesthood invariably holds first place. Without the sacramental priesthood, the Church could never succeed in her calling: the priestly ministry is essential to the Church's mission. Jesus founded the Church on the Apostles and as a result there is an inseparable connection between the Church and the priesthood. That is why God never ceases, in every age, to call men willing to consecrate themselves to him and place themselves entirely at the service of Christ's Church.



Mass Times

23rd/24thSeptember 2017 The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time( year A)

St Gregory's

Saturday Vigil Mass: 5.30pm

Sunday:8.15am: (This Mass is temporarily suspended)

Solemn High Mass :11.15am. 
Polish Mass: 1.00pm

Our Lady of Peace

Sunday 9.30am

Weekday Masses

Monday 25th: 9.30am: Communion Service


Tuesday 26th :9.30am: Communion Service

 Wednesday 27th: 9.30am:  Communion Service

 Thursday 28th: 9.30am: Communion Service
7pm Holy Hour for Creation.

 Friday 29th:  9.30am: Communion Service 

Saturday 30th: NO CONFESSIONS

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