Message from the Diocesan Director of Vocations and Seminarians


This past summer I had the privilege of travelling with a group of just over 50 pilgrims, from our diocese, to World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. .

I would like to share with you a portion of Pope Francis’ message to us, during the Saturday evening vigil. Reflecting on the attitude of the Apostles at Pentecost, our Holy Father warned us of different paralyses in the lives of young people today. The first being fear in general, and the second being a confusion of happiness with comfort. Here are his exact words: Here are his exact words:

But in life there is another, even more dangerous, kind of paralysis.  It is not easy to put our finger on it.  I like to describe it as the paralysis that comes from confusing happiness with a sofa.  In other words, to think that in order to be happy all we need is a good sofa.  A sofa that makes us feel comfortable, calm, safe.  A sofa like one of those we have nowadays with a built-in massage unit to put us to sleep.  A sofa that promises us hours of comfort so we can escape to the world of videogames and spend all kinds of time in front of a computer screen.  A sofa that keeps us safe from any kind of pain and fear.  A sofa that allows us to stay home without needing to work at, or worry about, anything.  “Sofa-happiness”!  That is probably the most harmful and insidious form of paralysis, which can cause the greatest harm to young people.  And why does this happen Father?  Because, little by little, without even realizing it, we start to nod off, to grow drowsy and dull.”

Vocations of all kinds can only flourish with an openness to sacrificial love, which is not always comfortable but always grace-filled and leads to a deeper form of happiness in life.

With my prayers,

Fr. Patrick Bénéteau

Director of Vocations & Seminarians

Diocese of London

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