Contributed by Terrie Evans
On this Sunday, we acknowledge the 57th World day of Prayer for Vocations. This day is set aside to publicly celebrate all those who seek vocations to ordained ministry and religious life in all its forms. For this day, Pope Francis relayed a message to us concerning the four key words, pain, gratitude, encouragement, and praise as a way to thank priests and support their ministry. In his letter, Pope Francis wants those who are called to seek vocations to know as they abandon their own security to become one of the Lord’s disciples on this challenging journey, to realize they are not alone. For those choosing to enter a religious life are said to have open hearts that will embrace the Love of the Lord and the gratitude from God. Pope Francis wants us to realize that those seeking vocations will always need encouragement as they move forward while asking themselves does the Lord really need me to do this? On this day, the Pope asks all of us to continue to promote vocations and to enable them to discover with gratitude God’s call in their lives and to find courage to say ‘yes’ to God. In his message, Pope Francis asked all those seeking a consecrated a life “ to overcome all weariness through faith in Christ and to make of their lives a song of praise of God, for their brothers and sisters and for thee whole world”.
On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, we pray that parents and grandparents will have the grace to guide their children and grandchildren through the trials of life and to help them discern not just their careers, but also their vocations. We also pray for and remember all those deceased clergy and religious Sisters of Charity, Srs. Blandina, Justina, Euphrasia and Sr. Joseph Marion) who have served San Antonio Church over our 98 year history. May the Good Shepard welcome them with open arms.
A Prayer to recite on this day
“Father in Heaven, you sent us your only Son to redeem us and to build your kingdom on earth. Please give us the wisdom and strength we need to follow His call. Grant to the faithful a spirit of generosity, that Church vocations may flourish. Bless our Priests with holiness and courage, that they may lead your people to Christ. Help all sister and brothers to fulfill their sacred promises and so be effective signs of your kingdom. Lord, invite more men and women to your service. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.