Frs. Jim Murray and John Coughlan, priests in the Diocese of Elphin, Ireland, were our guests on this broadcast. Fr. Murray is the Diocesan Vocation Director and serves at St. John’s Catholic Church and Fr. Coughlan is the Assistant Vocation Director, a member of the formation staff, permanent deaconate program and liturgy commission.
Fr. Coughlan talks about how he grew in faith as part of a prayer meeting in Sligo in which Fr. Murray was the Spiritual Director. On pilgrimages he had “an awakening moment” where the question of leadership came up, which led him to consider who the leader in the community was…the priest. He says the Lord first “tapped me on the shoulder in prayer” and he felt compelled to answer the Lord’s call.
Fr. Murray also first felt called to the priesthood in his mid-teen years. He says God’s invitation was strongest in prayer and in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. While he felt he was not good enough to be a priest, a discussion with the vocation director eventually led him to the seminary to clarify his vocation to the priesthood.