14 May 2011

Vocation Sunday

Pope Paul VI instituted the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (the 4th Sunday of Easter) on the 11th 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 launching the 1st Word Day of Prayer for Vocations)

In the 43 years since, successive pontiffs have called on the Church to focus and pray for vocations. In order to help you prepare for this day, the following resources are offered

The Dominican Nuns of Summit New Jersey in the USA have a short reflection about the day:

"The theme of the Fourth Sunday of Easter is that of Christ, the Good Shepherd, who gives His life for His sheep, who is Himself the Door to the sheepfold. Although most people today have no experience of sheep or shepherds the image continues to resonate in their hearts no less now than in the first century of Christianity. The image of Christ as the Good Shepherd is one of the oldest in iconography and can be found in the catacombs of St. Priscilla in Rome. ..........It's appropriate that Good Shepherd Sunday is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations! The Good Shepherd delights in calling and inviting us to share with Him in His work of redemption begun on the Cross. It is an invitation of love and is one He invites all of us to be a part of.
Perhaps not all are called to be consecrated to Him in the beautiful vocation of the priesthood or religious life but ALL of us can PRAY for vocations and ENCOURAGE young men and women to respond with a whole-hearted YES! to His invitation! So often a young person begins to think about a religious vocation or the priesthood because of a simple remark, "Hey, you'd make a good priest or nun. Ever think about it?"

Most of all Our Lord has asked us: "Pray the Lord of the Harvest to send labors into His harvest!""

Msgr Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington has an insightful piece on the power of personal witness in the priestly proclamation.

The Irish Conference of Diocesan Vocations Directors website has various resources, reflections and videos about Vocation Sunday.

Other reflections and links including a short video available from the website of the Irish Bishops Episcopal Conference.


Lord Jesus,
you said to your disciples:
“The harvest indeed is great
but the labourers are few.”
We ask that we may know
and follow the vocation
to 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 responsive
to the call of serving your people.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post.

    You may be interested in the following blog post with a quote by Fr William Doyle SJ, a remarkable priest who died as a martyr of charity in World War 1. It also contains links to his classic pamphlets on vocations which encouraged many vocations during and after his lifetime.