PORTLAND---The 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be celebrated on Sunday, April 22, in the Diocese of Portland and in many other dioceses around the world.
The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38, Lk 10:2). It affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), societies of apostolic life, secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and missionary life.
“We are grateful for the gifts of ordained ministry and consecrated life, and we hold them up as ways of life we need in the Church,” said Bishop Robert P. Deeley. “We seek the blessing of such vocations by encouraging our young people to ask how they want to serve the Lord in their lives. We speak of vocation being a call, and indeed it is, but it is rare that the heavens open and God speaks to one of us. He usually speaks more quietly in the hearts of those whom he calls. Our task is to help those we encounter who show positive signs of wanting to serve the people of God to listen to that quiet voice within them that calls them to service in the Church.”
“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,” wrote Pope Francis about the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.