The U.S. Catholic Church is celebrating National Vocation Awareness Week to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education.
This distinctive week gives Catholics an opportunity to renew prayers and support for those who are considering one of these vocations.
“It is our responsibility to help children and young people develop a prayerful relationship with Jesus Christ so they will know their vocation,” said St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.
“Through a culture of vocation in families, parishes, schools and dioceses, Catholics can nurture an environment of discipleship, commitment to daily prayer, spiritual conversion, growth in virtue, participation in the sacraments and service in community,” the archbishop said. “Without this environment, promoting vocations becomes simply recruitment. We believe we have much more to offer our young people.”
People can visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Facebook page — www.facebook.com/usccb — during the week to see examples of clergy and religious. They also can view reflections under the vocation retreat tab where each day a Scripture passage, reflection and prayer will be posted.
Resources for promoting National Vocations Awareness Week, such as prayer cards, Holy Hour materials, prayers of the faithful and bulletin-ready quotes, are available on the USCCB vocations webpage at www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations.
National Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 when the U.S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year for this event. In 1997, the celebration was moved to coincide with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which will be Jan. 9 in the new year.