World Day Of Prayer For Vocations Set For April 21

April 4, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The Vatican has set the50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations for April 21, the fourth Sunday ofEaster, commonly known as Good Shepherd Sunday.

The theme for this year'scelebration is "Vocations as a sign of hope founded in faith." The themeunderscores the hope that vocations to the priesthood and consecrated lifebring to the entire Church.

ArchbishopRobert J. Carlson of St. Louis, chairman of the U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, echoed thechallenge.

"The Church's basic mission is topreach the Gospel and help build a civilization of love in our world today," hesaid. "We need good holy priests and dedicated men and women committed to theconsecrated life to help build the Kingdom of God here and now. Therefore, wewant a stronger culture of vocations in our own nation to help each Catholicrealize that we all have a responsibility to invite young people to consider ifGod is calling them to the priesthood or consecrated life."

The U.S. Bishops' website at the URLwww.usccb.org/vocations hosts resourcesto help laity and clergy build a culture of vocationsin home and parishes. Elements include videos of priests and religiousmen and women giving witness to their vocations, videos of testimonies from parentswhose children have answered a vocation to the priesthood and consecrated life,prayers and discernment resources for men and women, down-loadable lesson plansfor educators, and retreat resources for parishes.

"Wehave seen a slight increase in religious vocations in the U.S. over the pastfew years.It is our hope to continuethis development by helping every member of the Church to encourage and promotevocations to the priesthood and consecrated life," saidFather John Guthrie, associate director of the Secretariat for Clergy,Consecrated Life and Vocations. "The resources on the website arevaluable tools in this effort."

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KEYWORDS: Vocations, Archbishop Robert Carlson,Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of prayer for Vocations, U.S. Conference ofCatholic Bishops, USCCB, U.S. Bishops, Vatican

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