World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Vocation Article
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Fr. Sean McEwen, SDB, speaks
with young people at this
year's SEEK Conference.
Courtesy of Fr. Steve DeMaio, SDB

This Sunday, April 21, is Good Shepherd Sunday, which has become the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It is a moment where the Church asks us to be intentional about inviting young people to consider God’s call for them in their lives. This weekend should be dedicated to promoting vocational discernment by inviting, encouraging, challenging, and spending time with and listening to young people. To take inspiration from St. Paul, how will the young think about their vocation if no one ever speaks to them about it or invites them to consider the possibility?

As I’ve traveled around our province to our own works and participated in different programs throughout the wider Church, I've found that there are a lot of young people who strive for holiness and sacrifice time and money to live in intentional communities and dedicate their lives to the Christian mission. There are so many signs of hope, and this is exactly what Pope Francis asks us to focus on in his message for this day of prayer.

“This is, in the end, the goal of every vocation: to become men and women of hope. As individuals and as communities, amid the variety of charisms and ministries, all of us are called to embody and communicate the Gospel message of hope in a world marked by epochal challenges…To be pilgrims of hope and builders of peace, then, means to base our lives on the rock of Christ’s resurrection, knowing that every effort made in the vocation that we have embraced and seek to live out, will never be in vain.”

In the Acts of the General Council n. 438, we have some guidelines from Fr. Miguel Angel Garcia and Fr. Ivo Coelho in a document called The Salesian Vocation Guidance Experience: Formation Pathways. We are called, as we have been for years now, “to offer young people the environment, conditions and accompanying pathways” to discern their vocation. We have heard many times that the “pastoral work for vocations is the crowning glory of youth ministry, its unifying principle.” However, it is not just the ultimate moment, “but an element that is always present at every stage.”

We do so much already in our province for vocations, and we see some fruit, but we can always do more when it comes to the courageous and radical witness of our own Salesian vocation. This weekend, as we continue to celebrate the new life given to us in Christ’s Resurrection, we can ask ourselves: What do I need to do to give a more credible and attractive witness to the Salesian life? To married life? How am I living my vows? Community life? Christian Mission? How many young people am I walking with? How many have I shared my wisdom and experience with to help them discern?

Check out Salesian News, where you will find different programs, events, and opportunities that can be offered to young people as a “pathway for vocational discernment.” Let us keep being signs of hope and encourage the young to respond generously to the God who promises abundant life.


Fr. Steve DeMaio

April 19, 2024 - 8:34am
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