Pope Francis on April 22, 2018, ordained 16 men to the priesthood in St. Peter’s Basilica, 11 for the Diocese of Rome. The 16 were from Italy, India, Croatia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Colombia, El Salvador, Madagascar, Romania, and Peru.
The event marked the 55th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which is described on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website:
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”.
“May your teaching be nourishment to the People of God,” the Pope was quoted in Vatican News. “and the perfume of your life be joy and support to the faithful of Christ. May your word and example edify the House of God which is the Church.”
The three aspects of vocation – “listening, discerning, living” – were present for Jesus and continue today for young people, according to Pope Francis in his December 3, 2017, Message for 2018 World Day of Vocations.
“After his time of prayer and struggle in the desert, he visited his synagogue of Nazareth,” the Pope recalled. “There, he listened to the word, discerned the content of the mission entrusted to him by the Father, and proclaimed that he came to accomplish it…
“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.”
Pope Francis noted that the Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in October 2018, will focus on the relationship between young people, faith, and vocation. He continued: “There we will have a chance to consider more deeply how, at the center of our life, is the call to joy that God addresses to us and how this is ‘God’s plan for men and women in every age’.”