On Tuesday February 17th, the annual Deanery Mass for Vocations took place at St Gregory’s in Longton. The Mass is promoted by the North Staffs Vocations Promotions group, which has been in existence since 1988 when it was created by Fr Seamus Gilroy, the then Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Birmingham. The group has met continuously ever since.

Each year the Catholic Secondary schools of the area take their turn to organise the Mass, with their pupils and those of their feeder schools providing readers and musicians.

In 2020 the Mass was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to the COVID pandemic, and in 2021 the Mass was live streamed from St Chad’s Cathedral, with only a small congregation, and so it was a relief to be able to gather together in this way this year.

Mass was animated by the pupils of St Thomas More Catholic Academy under the guidance of their Lay Chaplain Mrs Megan McNicholl. Principle Celebrant was Fr Craig Szmidt, the current Vocations Director who was returning to his home Deanery, assisted by Fr David Newell (Parish priest), Fr Michael Glover and Deacon Owen Gresty. During his Homily Fr Craig challenged the congregation to consider their own vocation and to respond positively and with courage.

Further Vocations events planned in the North Staffs Deanery are:

Immaculate Conception and St Dominic Stone

  • Thursday March 3rd, 7pm an hour of prayer led by Fr Marco Egawhary
  • Friday March 4th, 6pm, Holy Mass will be celebrated by Fr Gerry Doyle 
  • Thursday March 31st, 6pm Closing Mass celebrated by Fr Marco Egawhary

Holy Trinity Newcastle Under Lyme

  • Friday March 25th, 7pm an hour of prayer led by Fr Marco Egawhary

For more information about Vocations in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, please visit the Vocations Office:

Vocations Office