On the fourth Sunday of Easter, the church celebrates Good Shepherd Sunday or as it is also known, Vocation Sunday or World Day of Prayer for Vocations. During this Sunday, we are invited to think and to pray for Vocations, especially the vocation to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in living out the priestly vocation that everyone received through baptism.
Moreover, during this weekend, the Church encourages young people to openly respond to the vocations of priesthood and religious life. The purpose of World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfil and answer to the Lord’s instruction: “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers 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 consecrated life in all its forms: male and female religious life, secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life.
The Church acknowledges the need of priesthood and religious life during this current age due to the lack of interest in dedicating one’s life in serving God and his people in these special vocations. Therefore, 2021 marks the 58th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations where we are invited to pray, to talk and to awaken God’s Call that God has for each one of us. Especially, for young men and women; that God may give them the gift of understanding to discern their services in the Church as the priesthood, diaconate, or consecrated life; and for the gift of courage to follow His call.
Locally, at Corpus Christi College in Carlton, the regional Seminary for Victoria and Tasmania, there are over 50 students who are participating in priesthood training for the various dioceses of Victoria and Tasmania. Generally, there are about seven new students who join the Seminary each year. At the end of this year, for the Archdiocese of Melbourne there will be six candidates for Diaconate and six candidates for the priesthood.
On a personal level, I would like to convey to you a message of thanks and ask for your prayers for my new appointment which is in addition to my current appointment as Assistant Priest for Camberwell Balwyn, Deepdene and Surrey Hills Wattle Park Parishes. From April, 2021 Archbishop Peter has appointed me as one of the Vocation Promoters for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. My task is mainly promoting vocations in the Eastern Region of the Archdiocese involving many visitations to our Secondary Schools and parish communities. With these visitations, I hope to talk and invite people to engage in some discussions on Vocation to the Priesthood and religious life. So I am still around our parishes!
With those intentions in mind, let us pray for our young people particularly this weekend. May the Lord assist them in their vocations and futures. Also, an extra prayer for myself with my new task.
Fr Trac Nguyen
Gracious God, Source of all life,
By our baptism you call us by name and invite us to fullness of life in you.
Bless each of us as we respond to your call to follow the Son.
May we encourage and support one another in discerning and living out our Christian vocation.
Help us to foster a culture of vocations in which your seed will bear much fruit.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.