29th April 2012 is Vocations Sunday. Pope Paul VI instituted the World Day of Prayer for Vocations on the 11 April 1964 by saying: “O Jesus, divine Shepherd of the spirit, you have called the Apostles in order to make them fishermen of men, you still attract to you burning spirits and generous young people, in order to render them your followers and ministers to us” (Pope Paul VI )
In the years since, successive pontiffs have called on the Church to focus and pray for vocations. Prayer and promotion of vocations takes place on a daily basis here in Ireland but in a particular way on Vocations Sunday which this year falls on Sunday 29 April, the Fourth Sunday of Easter.
In Limerick there will be a three hour Prayer Vigil for Vocations which will be held in St Nessans Church, Raheen, Limerick on Saturday, 28th April, 2012. The Vigil will commence with Concelebrated Mass at 6pm and conclude with Benediction at 9pm. You are invited to participate in the Vigil for all or any part of the three hours.
The Pope issues a message for Vocations Sunday each year and the theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for this year’s celebration is: Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God. In his message Pope Benedict says: “It is in this soil of self-offering and openness to the love of God, and as the fruit of that love, that all vocations are born and grow. By drawing from this wellspring through prayer, constant recourse to God’s word and to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, it becomes possible to live a life of love for our neighbours, in whom we come to perceive the face of Christ the Lord (cf. Mt 25:31-46).”
The full text of the message can be read here.
The website of the Irish Episcopal Conference has links to many resources for Vocations Sunday including:
- Website of the National Diocesan Vocations Directors www.vocations.ie
- Find and LIKE the Vocations Directors on Facebook as Diocesan Vocations Ireland
- Follow the Diocesan Vocations Directors on Twitter @NVocations
General links and resources:
- Interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan on priesthood and vocations - This interview was conducted in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth in May 2010 as part of the Year for Priests initiative. Cardinal Dolan was an Archbishop at the time but he was made a Cardinal by Pope Benedict in February 2012. In this interview Cardinal Dolan says that it when it comes to promoting vocations and priesthood that ‘happiness attracts’. Click here to watch the full interview.
- Pope Benedict’s 2010 Letter to Seminarians - Click here for Pope Benedict’s Letter to Seminarians from October 2010
- In Praise of Priests - In five short videos, George Hook, Alice Taylor, Ashleigh O’Neill, Mickey Harte and David Begg share what particular priests have meant in their lives. Click here to view videos.
- Documents on priesthood from the Congregation for the Clergy - Click here for documents on priesthood from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy.
- Books on priesthood from Veritas - Veritas has some interesting books available on vocations. Click here to see a range of what they have. Visit one of their stores nationwide to see their full range of books and publications on vocations and priesthood.
- Website for Vocations Ireland – Vocations Ireland is an association of the Vocation Directors of the Catholic Religious Orders in Ireland. They work to present religious life, apostolic, missionary and contemplative, as a life choice that is one way of following Christ and bringing deeper meaning and purpose to life. Click here.
- Conference of Vocation Diocesan Vocation Directors.
The Vocations Director for the Diocese of Limerick is:
Fr. Noel Kirwan
10 Sexton St., Limerick.
Fr. Michael O' Shea
9 Castleroy Heights,
Further information on vocations to priesthood and religious life from the Diocese of Limerick.
Lord Jesus,you said to your disciples:“The harvest indeed is greatbut the labourers are few.”We ask that we may knowand follow the vocationto which you have called us.We pray for those called to serve:those whom you have called,those you are calling now,and those you will call in the future.May they be open and responsiveto the call of serving your people.