WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 2, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops are encouraging participation in the World Day of Prayer for Vocations by offering resources for use on this day, which will be celebrated May 15 this year.
The theme for this 48th Day of Prayer for Vocations is “Proposing Vocations in the Local Church.”
The bishops echoed the call of Benedict XVI, who in his message for this day stated: “Every Christian community, every member of the Church, needs consciously to feel responsibility for promoting vocations.
“It is important to encourage and support those who show clear signs of a call to priestly life and religious consecration, and to enable them to feel the warmth of the whole community as they respond ‘yes’ to God and the Church.”
The Pope affirmed that “proposing vocations in the local Church means having the courage, through an attentive and suitable concern for vocations, to point out this challenging way of following Christ which, because it is so rich in meaning, is capable of engaging the whole of one’s life.”
Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, agreed that “we all have a responsibility to invite young people to consider if God is calling them to the priesthood or consecrated life.”
“Such a call challenges our deepest convictions and leads to the discovery of the deepest truth about ourselves,” he said.
The prelate stated, “Those who are being called by God deserve our prayers and encouragement to respond generously and without reservation.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is inviting dioceses, parishes and organizations to link to the Web site ForYourVocation.org, and to use the resources provided there.
Resources include video testimonies of priests, religious, and parents of clergy or consecrated persons. The Web site also offers prayers, discernment resources, lesson plans for educators and retreat material.
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On the Net:
Vocations Web site: ForYourVocation.org