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World Day of Prayer for Vocations is this weekend

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The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission “ad gentes”. -United States Catholic Conference of Bishops

The Fifty-fifth World Day of Prayer for Vocations once again proclaims this good news to us, and in a decisive manner. We are not victims of chance or swept up in a series of unconnected events; on the contrary, our life and our presence in this world are the fruit of a divine vocation! Even amid these troubled times, the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God continually comes to encounter us. He is God-with-us, who walks along the often dusty paths of our lives. He knows our anxious longing for love and he calls us to joy. In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness. –Pope Francis

The Church turns her attention particularly to the vocations of ordained ministry, consecrated life, and missionary life. Good Shepherd Sunday, April 22, is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The purpose of this day is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). In this Archdiocese, our weekly prayer for vocations has already borne fruit beyond what some might have thought was a realistic hope some time ago. The number of seminarians at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West has more than doubled over the past seven years, causing us to break ground last fall on the first expansion of the seminary building since 1962. We expect this blessing to continue, with the numbers doubling again in the next seven years.

Yet, the need to pray for religious vocations remains. The number of new priests ordained each year still does not match or exceed the number lost to death and retirement, and will not for some time. Moreover, our purpose in begging the harvest master has never been simply to fill the seminary and our pulpits. The purpose is to help those called by God to religious vocations to hear and answer that call. If you know someone whom you believe may have a religious vocation, be sure to encourage him or her to listen to that “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12) that is the call of God. Encourage him or her to contact me or our Vocations Director, Father Dan Schmitmeyer. And please join me in praying for religious vocations particularly on Good Shepherd Sunday. –Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.

This weekend pray the Prayer of Vocations. For printable copy of the Prayer for Vocations click here

For the Message of his Holiness Pope Francis for the 2018 World Day of Vocations, click here

For more information on Vocations, click here

For information on the Office for Consecrated Life, click here

 

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