News May 9, 2014
World Day of Prayer for Vocations - Sunday, May 11
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 laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2).
The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord's instruction to, "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life. While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission "ad gentes".
This year marks the 51st Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations
How to Promote Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life
Here are a few suggestions to help individuals and parishes to help promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Those who often feel they might have a vocation sometimes hesitate before answering the Lord's call. These ways provide opportunities to dialogue with those considering a vocation to priesthood or religious life, and to support them in as many ways as possible.
- Holy Hours for Vocations – begin Eucharistic Exposition for Vocations in your parish. Prayer before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is particularly fruitful for vocations. A parish rosary for vocation intentions is also very fruitful.
- Encourage Prayer for One’s Own Vocation – encourage and lead young people to pray to the Lord for discernment in their vocation. Is the Lord calling me to priesthood, religious life, married life, or the single life?
- Mass Intentions for Vocations – Offer Mass on a regular basis for the intention of increased vocations to priesthood and religious life.
- Ask – Tell promising young boys and men who show interest in truth, compassion for others, and an aptitude for the spiritual life that they would make a fine priest. Ask them to pray and consider the priesthood. Likewise, ask promising young girls and women to pray and consider religious life, and tell them they would make a fine sister or nun.
- Work with the Parish Priest – Work with the pastor at your parish on vocation awareness activities. The priest is a primary influence on young people considering priesthood and religious life. For example, the priest at confirmation interviews can ask the candidates if they’ve considered priesthood/religious life.
- Encourage Parents – Invite parents of vocation sons and daughters to give a talk at the end of Mass about the joy of being a parent of a priest, seminarian, or religious brother or sister. Parents need to here other parents speak on vocations. Speak to parents groups and parish organizations about the parents’ role in vocations.
- Host Parish Youth or Discernment Nights – Invite youth, high school students, or young adults to separate or combined discernment nights. Possible components could include prayer, socials, panel discussions from priests and religious, meet the pastor sessions, question and answer sessions, movies, trips to cathedrals or other churches, book reviews or discussion groups, etc…
Resources for Supporting Priests and Vocations
- Printable prayers and booklets (PDF) for parish and personal use
- Prayer and Support Groups for priests and vocations
- Holy Hours for Vocations in the Diocese of Dallas
- Spiritual Motherhood for Priests
- Prayers for Priests and for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life
Calendar - Prayers for Dallas Seminarians
- Holy Hour for Vocations
- Prayer Card for Vocations
- Prayers for Vocations
- Holy Rosary for Vocations
- Stations of the Cross for Vocations
- The ABC's of Fostering, Supporting and Nurturing Vocations within the Home
- Five Ways To Support my Parish Priest
- Invisible Monastery - Commit to pray for an increase in vocations
- Rosary for the Bishop - Join your prayers for our bishops with others praying for our shepherds
- Trinitarian Auxiliary - Providing support to Holy Trinity Seminary and seminarians
- Serra International (USA Council Site) - International group whose mission is to foster and affirm vocatiosn for the priesthood and vowed religious life
- Maria Regina Cleri - a Catholic apostolate dedicated to encouraging prayerful support of priests and vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life
We are often asked to pray for vocations, but how? Certainly we should do so in our daily intentions as well as at Mass. Sometimes, though, holding a special Holy Hour for Vocations provides a more intensive focus for our intercession: as we join in adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, we earnestly ask him to send more laborers into the harvest.
Any individual who would like to make a Holy Hour for Vocations are encouraged to visit one of the many parishes in the diocese that offer Eucharistic Adoration - see our Eucharistic Adoration Directory to find times in a parish near you.
In addition, these parishes offer dedicated times for prayers for vocations.
Fri: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. (Adoration for Vocations)
Holy Hour for Priests and Vocations
Thu: 7:00 p.m. (Spanish), Fri: 2:00 p.m. (English)
"Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God but passes through the heart of a mother."
Pope St. Pius X
The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, scarcely understood and, consequently, rarely lived, notwithstanding its fundamental importance. It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual life.
In imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Spiritual Motherhood is a vocation "within a vocation" for women who are called to pray and sacrifice for priests. Independent of age or social status, any woman can become a mother for priests. This type of motherhood is not only for mothers of families, but is just as possible for an unmarried girl, a widow, or for someone who is ill. It is especially pertinent for missionaries and religious sisters who have given their lives entirely to God for the sanctification of others.The first and foremost duty for any Christian is to answer the universal call of holiness within their particular state in life; after answering that call, then, women may choose to assist priests by being spritual mothers.
Some ways to assist priests as Spiritual Mothers are:
- Full and Active Participation at Mass and the offering up of Holy Communion
- Eucharistic Adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament
- Praying the Holy Rosary
- Making Spiritual Communions throughout the day
- Offering up work and sacrifices
- Praying for priests on a daily basis
To learn more about Spiritual Motherhood
Booklet from the Congregation for the Clergy
Resources from Family Vocations Ministries
- Spiritual Motherhood Brochure
- Spiritual Motherhood Booklet
- Spiritual Motherhood: The Virtues, Fruits and Witness of Spiritual Mothers
- Spiritual Motherhood Prayerbook
Heavenly Father, Your divine Son taught us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His vineyard. We earnestly beg You to bless our Diocese and our world with many priests and religious men and women who will love You fervently, and gladly and courageously spend their lives in service to Your Son’s Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We pray that their lives may be always centered on our Eucharistic Lord; that they be always faithful to the Holy Father; and that they may be devoted sons and daughters of Mary, our Mother, in making You known and loved; and that all may attain Heaven. Bless our families and our children and choose from our homes those whom You desire for this holy work. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God our Father, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask You to bless and strengthen the spiritual renewal and vitality of all priests and religious so that Your Church may shine more resplendently and bear witness to Your presence in our world today. In particular, inspire many men and women to respond to Your Son's call to "Come, follow Me" as members of those communities which are living the religious life according to the mind of the Church. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Prayed by the mothers of the tiny Italian villiage of Lu (which produced 323 vocations from 1881 to 1945, including 152 priests)
O God, grant that one of my sons may become a priest!
I myself want to live as a good Christian
and want to guide my children always to do what is right,
so that I may receive the grace, O God, to be allowed to give you a holy priest! Amen.
O Almighty Eternal God, Look upon the face of Thy Christ, and for the love of Him, Who is the Eternal High Priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop’s hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.
O Jesus, I pray to Thee, for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests, for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy aged priests; for Thy sick priests; for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in purgatory.
But above all, I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me or helped and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly [name a particular priest of your choosing here]. O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.
Lord, my God and my loving Father, you have made me to know you, to love you, to serve you, and thereby to find and to fulfill my deepest longings. I know that you are in all things, and that every path can lead me to you.
But of them all, there is one especially by which you want me to come to you. Since I will do what you want of me, I pray you, send your Holy Spirit to me: into my mind, to show me what you want of me; into my heart, to give me the determination to do it, and to do it with all my love, with all my mind, and with all of my strength right to the end. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen
Prayers of St Ignatius of Loyola
Teach us, Good Lord,
To serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To labor and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
Through Jesus Christ Our Lord,
Lord, I freely yield all my freedom to you.
Take my memory, my intellect and my entire will.
You have given me anything I am or have;
I give it all back to you to stand under your will alone.
Your love and your grace are enough for me;
I shall ask for nothing more.
We need them in life's early morning,
We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek them when tasting life's woes.
At the altar each day we behold them,
And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness;
Their dignity stands all alone;
And when we are tempted and wander,
To pathways of shame and of sin,
It's the hand of a priest that will absolve us--
Not once, but again and again.
And when we are taking life's partner,
Other hands may prepare us a feast,
But the hand that will bless and unite us--
Is the beautiful hand of a priest.
God bless them and keep them all holy,
For the Host which their fingers caress;
When can a poor sinner do better,
Than to ask Him to guide thee and bless?
When the hour of death comes upon us,
May our courage and strength be increased,
By seeing raised over us in blessing--
The beautiful hands of a priest.
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