Fostering Vocations

Pope Benedict XVI in his message for 2012 World Day of Prayer for Vocations (April 29) emphasizes the need for parish communities, organizations and especially families to play a vital role in fostering vocations.  In his message, titled “Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God”, the Pope says, “It is important for the Church to create the conditions that will permit many young people to say “yes” in generous response to God’s loving call. The task of fostering vocations will be to provide helpful guidance and direction along the way.”

The family is especially highlighted in the Pope’s message, and he challenges parents to be a “community of life and love.”  He writes, “Indeed families are not only the privileged place for human and Christian formation; they can also be the primary and most excellent seed-bed of vocations to a life of consecration to the Kingdom of God, by helping their member to see, precisely within the family, the beauty and the importance of the priesthood and the consecrated life.”

Our Holy Father also stressed the need to help our young people to grow in a life of prayer to help them discern their vocation in life whether it is to marriage, priesthood, or religious life.  He explains, “Central to this should be love of God’s word nourished by a growing familiarity with Sacred Scripture, and attentive and unceasing prayer, both personal and in community; this will make it possible to hear God’s call amid all the voices of daily life. But above all, the Eucharist should be the heart of every vocation journey.”
(World Day for Vocations is this Sunday, April 29th.)