Diocese of Ferns - Vocations


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Billy Caulfield

My name is Billy Caulfield and I am a seminarian studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Ferns. I am now thirty two years old. I am from the parish of Horeswood and the oldest of four children.

I am what you would call a late vocation to the priesthood. I left school and I qualified as a chef. Cooking was something that always interested me growing up and I still enjoy it very much.

Soon I began to relaise that there was something else that I was called to. The words of St. Catherine of Sienna
“If you are what you should be you will set the world on fire” on the vocations banner made me question the direction in which my life was heading. In 2006 I went on pilgrimage with a priest from my local parish and we had a discussion about vocations and had I ever given it any consideration. From that moment on the seed was planted and I started to give it some serious taught. Over the next few years I got involved in my parish in the curacy of Ballykelly by becoming a Eucharistic Minister and a Minster of the Word.

I attended World Youth Day 2008 were a catechises was given on vocations and a lot of what was said was identical to my feelings and way things were happening.

Over the next few months the calling was very strong. In 2009 I attended a Youth 2000 retreat and the priest recalled in a homily the call of Our Lady to be the mother of our Lord at the Annunciation and how she said yes whole heartily to the will of God. This was the same in my life, to follow the will of God,to follow his son, to enter into a priestly vocation to say yes to Gods will. I then responded my yes in October of 2009 and I began my discernment for priesthood.

The following year I went to Australia to take a break away from my regular surroundings to see if a vocation to the priesthood was still what I wanted to do. The way things went it left me with no doubt that’s what I was called to do.

I travelled back to the parish of St Anthony’s Glenhuntly in Melbourne were we had days in the diocese for WYD 2008. There I could not get any work as a chef which I guessed was not meant to be because I ended up doing a lot of stuff related to pastoral work. I was interacting and dealing with the various groups that attended there each morning. I was also able to attend daily mass. On Tuesday nights a group of us gathered to have a meal, had various discussions related to our faith finished with evening prayer from the divine office. I felt very happy doing this work and it also gave me great encouragement and sense of fulfilment that a vocation to the priesthood was what I wanted to pursue.

Upon arriving home I started in parish of Clonard on a pastoral year.
I was accepted by Bishop Dennis Brennan to study for the Diocese of Ferns and I entered St. Patrick’s College Maynooth in August of 2011. I am now nearly finished my First Divine year that is, my third year in seminary. The journey has had its own challenges but it also has also been very fulfilling. I am looking forward to the rest of my time here in seminary and the new challenges and blessings that I will encounter on my journey towards priesthood.

Philippians 1:9-10
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.

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Last Update Feb 08 2016

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