MANILA, April 25, 2015—A prelate has expressed hope that the forthcoming World Day of Prayer for Vocations to be celebrated on April 26, “Good Shepherd Sunday,” will pave the way for more people, especially the youth, desiring to take the “road least taken”: the priestly and religious life.
“This Sunday, during the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, let us all pray together that vocations to the priesthood, as well as to the consecrated and religious life would increase. We have a great need for more people who are willing to dedicate themselves selflessly to the various apostolates of the Church,” shared Imus Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista in an interview over Radio Veritas.
Working in the Lord’s vineyard
The prelate, who also chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Vocations (ECV), wishes all the faithful would open themselves to the opportunity of serving the Church as priest or religious, and being counted among the “workers in the Lord’s vineyard.”
Furthemore, Evangelista called on parents and guardians to encourage their children and wards to consider becoming priests, brothers, nuns, and sisters.
The bishop, however, also acknowledged the equally important role of the lay apostolate, and requested Catholics to also pray for an increase in lay men and women who will actively serve the Church in their own personal capacities.
Meanwhile, the chief prelate of the Manila Archdiocese (RCAM) invites his brother-priests to focus their April 26 homilies on “Vocations to Priesthood and Religious Life,” asking them to inspire the faithful with stories of how and why they heeded the call to follow Christ.
“This is an occasion for you to share your own vocation stories knowing that personal witnessing is a powerful way of inspiring young people to commit themselves to God,” states Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle in a circular.
In line with the worldwide celebration, the cardinal also appeals to all clergy, religious superiors, catechists, campus and youth ministers, and lay organizations in his episcopal see to send delegates to the Archdiocesan Mass for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations to be presided over by Fr. Jason Laguerta on the same day at 12:30 p.m. at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.
Moreover, Tagle invites the faithful to recite the Prayer for Vocations either before Mass or after communion, as well as to hold Holy Hour for Vocations, especially involving the different Church ministries and organizations. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News with reports from Roxanne dela Rosa)