World Day of Prayer for Vocations

The Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  We have heard many times in the Gospels that “the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore, ask the lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2).  This is a great reminder that praying for Vocations has become a universal responsibility.  It becomes a universal invitation that the faithful should have talked and prayed for vocations – the call – that God has always invited us to respond.  It is a special day to underline the importance of this prayer continually offered throughout the Church.  As Pope Francis also reminds us:

“Dear friends, on this day in particular, but also in the ordinary pastoral life of our communities, I ask the Church to continue to promote vocations.  May she touch the hearts of the faithful and enable each of them to discover with gratitude God’s call in their lives, to find courage to say ‘yes’ to God.”

But which vocation are we talking about?  Is it a vocation to the priesthood and religious life?  The answer is yes and no.

It is yes because on this Sunday, we express the need of more young people who are encouraged to think and to reflect on their lives in the special vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.  In other words, they are called to serve the church and community in the priesthood and religious life.  In this way of life, they are invited to dedicate themselves to live among the people of God as ordained ministers.

It is no because on this day, we are not only praying for the ordained ministries; however, more importantly, we do offer our prayers to the consecrated life in all its forms – secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life. Also, this is the baptismal call that each one of us is asked to live in our ordinary lives as parents, spouses, teachers and so on. Through our various ways of life, we are gently responding to God’s call, each with our own vocation.

As baptised people, we firmly believe that God has a plan for our lives!  He calls some to marriage, some to the priesthood, and others to religious life or to live as generous single people.  Fully living our own vocations and teaching young people how to discern God’s call is a serious duty, but also a joyful one.  During this week, please encourage the young people in your life such as children, grandchildren, students, and friends to be open if God calls them to priesthood or religious life. 

Support the training of priests for tomorrow’s Church

The Good Shepherd Sunday Appeal invites you to support seminary students training for the Catholic priesthood at Corpus Christi College in Melbourne.  Corpus Christi is the regional seminary of Victoria and Tasmania.  It is a thriving community of domestic and international students, discerning their call to a life of mission and service as Catholic priests.

Donations can be made online or by post to the Good Shepherd Sunday Appeal and are tax deductible.  Further information is available on the Catholic Theological College website.

By Fr Trac Nguyen
Annual Appeals

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