WASHINGTON--TheCatholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation AwarenessWeek (NVAW) January 13-19. The annual event earmarks a time for parishes toconsider their role in promoting the role of priests, deacons and religiousorder brothers and sisters to Catholics deciding on their future.
"NationalVocation Awareness Week gives dioceses and parishes across the country a chanceto promote vocations through prayer and education," said Archbishop RobertCarlson, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life andVocations. "This is especially important in this Year of Faith and as theChurch continues to focus on the New Evangelization. Vocations to thepriesthood, diaconate and consecrated life are essential in the Church'smission of spreading the joy and love of Jesus Christ. Our world and cultureneeds the Good News of Christ more than ever."
FatherShawn McKnight, executive director of the Secretariat of Clergy, ConsecratedLife and Vocations (CCLV), said research shows more youth consider a lifetimeof service to the Church than family and friends realize.
"Arecent study found significant interest among never-married Catholics ages14-35 in priesthood and the consecrated life," he said. "We estimate that over600,000 youth and young adults have seriously considered a religious vocationin the Church. This is good news. The challenge is to pray for them andencourage them to take the next step as they discern God's call."
Thestudy, "Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life Among Never-Married U.S.Catholics," was conducted by the Georgetown University-based Center for AppliedResearch in the Apostolate (CARA) and commissioned by the U.S. bishops'Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. It is available at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/survey-of-youth-and-young-adults-on-vocations.cfm
VocationAwareness Week reminds Catholics that they have responsibility to pray forvocations and to invite young people to consider a call to ordained ministryand consecrated life, said Father John Guthrie, CCLV associate director.
"Whensomeone is encouraged by three or more people to consider a religious vocationin the Church, they are more than five times more likely to seriously considerit, the CARA study showed. We need to be less shy about encouraging someone withthe right qualities for religious life to think about it," Father Guthrie said.
TheCCLV office will provide dioceses web resources such as prayer cards, suggestedprayers of the faithful and bulletin-ready quotes. Materials can be downloadedfrom the USCCB Vocations page, www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/national-vocation-awareness-week.cfm
Observanceof Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 when the U.S. bishops designated the28th Sunday of the year for the celebration. In 1997, it was moved to coincidewith the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, this year marked on January 13.Beginning in 2014, Vocation Awareness Week will be moved to the first full weekof November.
Keywords:Archbishop Robert Carlson, Father Shawn McKnight, Father John Guthrie, vocations,Catholic, bishops, National Vocation Awareness Week, clergy, priests, deacons,religious sisters, religious brothers, USCCB U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops
# # # # #MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Sr.Mary Ann WalshO:202-541-3200M:301-325-7935Email
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