If you’re an active Catholic, you know we need more priests. In the U.S. and Canada, there are more than 5,200 parishes without their own pastor.
What can you do? Quite a lot, actually. There are whole movements in the Church dedicated to promoting vocations. There are curriculums and discussion groups, even a growing new movement to start “vocation ministries” in parishes.
All these efforts are worthwhile, but to have real impact, they need to be supported by prayer. For 53 years, popes have asked Catholics worldwide to dedicate the fourth Sunday of Easter to praying for vocations. (This year it’s on April 17.) Because our mission at Vianney Vocations is to create a culture of vocations, we’ve developed some powerful prayer resources to help.
Below are seven ways to pray for vocations:
1. Pray Before the Eucharist
The link between Eucharistic Adoration and vocations is undeniable: a full 70 percent of men ordained in 2015 said they spent time in Adoration before entering seminary.(1) And this makes sense. What better way to pray for vocations than before the High Priest himself? We reviewed a bunch of Holy Hour formats before creating an awesome new booklet to intercede for vocations. [Holy Hour for Vocations booklet]
2. Pray with Mary
Dedicate your rosary to praying for vocations. Author Paul Thigpen has written a beautiful meditation on the Luminous Mysteries, with each decade devoted to a different vocation. [Rosary for Vocations]
3. Pray when You’re Sick
Centuries of tradition show that offering up our suffering is a powerful way to pray. This program helps the sick and homebound intercede for vocations. [Vocation Prayer Apostolate booklet]
4. Pray with St. Faustina
This humble Polish nun, now known as the “Ambassador of Mercy,” was remarkably dedicated to praying for priests. [St. Faustina Prayer Card]
5. Pray with Catholics worldwide
An international initiative to pray for vocations was started in 2012, and allows English-speaking Catholics in hundreds of dioceses to pledge specific ways they will pray. [www.invisiblemonastery.com]
6. Pray at Dinnertime
Here’s a creative way to remind folks to pray for vocations: a nice-looking table tent with a vocations prayer on one side, and the Angelus on the other. [Vocations table tent]
7. Pray with Pope Francis
The Holy Father concluded his message for 2016 World Day of Prayer for Vocations with a theologically profound prayer. We put it on the back of a good-looking prayer card. [WPDV card]
Just as we know one hour a week isn’t enough to live our Catholic Faith, one day a year isn’t enough to pray for vocations. On April 17, renew your daily resolve—or launch a new movement in your parish—to pray year-round for holy priests and religious.