On May 15, 2011, the Church throughout the world will celebrate the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
This year’s theme is “proposing vocations in the local Church,” which brings home the importance of promoting vocations in our own families, parishes, and dioceses. The Church desires that young people feel “welcome” in the Church and learn to take responsibility for responding to God’s call in their lives.
In anticipation of the World Day, last November Pope Benedict published a message for the event, in which he wrote,
“Particularly in these times, when the voice of the Lord seems to be drowned out by ‘other voices’ and his invitation to follow him by the gift of one’s own life may seem too difficult, 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 hem to feel the warmth of the whole community as they respond ‘yes’ to God and the Church. I encourage them, in the same words which I addressed to those who have already chosen to enter the seminary: ‘You have done a good thing. Because people will always have need of God, even in an age marked by technical mastery of the world and globalization: they will always need the God who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, the God who gathers us together in the universal Church in order to learn with him and through him life’s true meaning and in order to uphold and apply the standards of true humanity.'”
For the entire text of the Holy Father’s message, click here.