MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS
“The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom; it is not a “cage” or a burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking. He opens before our eyes the horizon of a greater sea and an abundant catch.”
Prayer for Seminarians
Father, thank You for the generosity of our seminarians.
Safeguard them as they prepare for the priesthood.
Keep all evil far from them, so they may become strong Christian men who are faithful to prayer, diligent in their studies, open to spiritual direction, and docile to all aspects of seminary formation.
Above all, enflame their hearts with love so they will be ardent and gentle shepherds for Your Church.
We make this prayer through the great High Priest, Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Prayer for Vocations
God our Father, You made each of us
to use our gifts in the Body of Christ.
We ask that You inspire
young people whom You call to
the priesthood and consecrated life
to courageously follow Your will.
Send workers into Your great harvest
so that the Gospel is preached,
the poor are served with love,
the suffering are comforted,
and Your people are strengthened
by the sacraments
We ask this through
Christ our Lord,
Children’s “Prayer to Know My Vocation”
God, my Father,
You created me with a specific purpose
for my life; this is my vocation.
By following Your plan,
I will be happy on Earth,
earn the reward of Heaven,
and help others do the same.
Please help me to hear,
understand, and follow
Your call with my whole heart,
especially when it seems most difficult.
Mary, Mother of God and my Mother,
pray for me to know and accept God’s will for my life.
Sister Walburga is a Benedictine Nun at Minster Abbey, Kent
During my discernment to Religious Life I became very aware that the call isn’t in abstract form. It is us ourselves, with our unique strengths and weaknesses, gifts and talents that God calls. It is who we are.
I initially explored Apostolic Religious Life, wanting to be a missionary or to continue serving others in the social care field. However through my discernment, with the help of others to accompany me and as I grew in self-awareness, the sense of call became clearer. I began to wonder if my call was to a contemplative community.
When I took my First Vows I took a new name as part of taking on the monastic life. So I have acquired a wonderful Patron, Saint Walburga! Of course I am still the same person God has called by name. Or I should say I am growing into the person He has called me to be.
I have now been in the monastery over 10 years. As Benedictines our call is to a specific community and I am very happy that God called me by name to be a nun here at Minster Abbey.
Kim Thérèse is Discerning a Vocation to Religious Life
I was asked to write a piece on discernment and being ‘Called by Name’, so here is my story so far. For me, I experienced an attraction to the Religious Life since the age of 15, but it was only as time passed that I went through a “YES-NO-YES” pattern from discovery and enthusiasm for learning about the life, to doubts and trials, to a final surrendering of myself to God’s will and plan for me. I realised that although the attraction was there, there was also a pull, an almost reluctance to take the step of making a commitment to a congregation to try and test my vocation. However, I could not shake the thought of consecrating myself totally to God in this way, and I knew I could not be at peace until I at least gave it a try.
I often say to people, “When you know, you’ll know” because for me, I found a perfect stillness in my heart, a peace and a strong sense of homecoming with a particular congregation, and I just knew that was the charism and place I had to “try” Religious Life or else I could never be at peace.
On this journey with God, this adventure, I found two things – firstly, that one’s vocation is never for oneself, and secondly, that no matter what your family and friends’ reaction may be, the best thing you can do is keep your gaze on Jesus and confide in your spiritual director and the congregation’s vocation director.