Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The work of carefully encouraging and supporting vocations finds a radiant source of inspiration in those places in the Gospel where Jesus calls His disciples to follow Him and trains them with love and care.
Vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life are first and foremost the fruit of constant contact with the living God and insistent prayer lifted up to the "Lord of the harvest," whether in parish communities, in Christian families or in groups specifically devoted to prayer for vocations.
The Lord does not fail to call people at every stage of life to share in His mission and to serve the Church in the ordained ministry and in the consecrated life.
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 them to feel the warmth of the whole community as they respond "yes" to God and the Church.
"Proposing Vocations in the Local Church" means having the courage, through an attentive and suitable concern for vocations, to point out this challenging way of following Christ which, because it is so rich in meaning, is capable of engaging the whole of one's life.
... Every moment in the life of the Church community — catechesis, formation meetings, liturgical prayer, pilgrimages — can be a precious opportunity for awakening in the People of God, and in particular in children and young people, a sense of belonging to the Church and of responsibility for answering the call to priesthood and to religious life by a free and informed decision.
The ability to foster vocations is a hallmark of vitality of a local Church.
(Source: Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 11/15/10)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com