19 April 2010
‘Witness Awakens Vocations’ theme for Vocations Sunday 2010
Special Vocations Sunday feature now available on www.catholicbishops.ie
This Sunday, 25 April, is Vocations Sunday or Good Shepherd Sunday. Vocations Sunday is the day on which the Church prays for and encourages vocations.
The theme of this year’s Vocation’s Sunday message from Pope Benedict XVI is ‘Witness Awakens Vocations’. Pope Benedict chose this theme to complement this year, the Year for Priests, which he inaugurated on 16 June last. In his Vocations Sunday message Pope Benedict prays: “May this World Day once again offer many young people a precious opportunity to reflect on their own vocation and to be faithful to it in simplicity, trust and complete openness. May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, watch over each tiny seed of a vocation in the hearts of those whom the Lord calls to follow him more closely, may she help it to grow into a mature tree, bearing much good fruit for the Church and for all humanity.”
Also in his message Pope Benedict says: “Every priest, every consecrated person, faithful to his or her vocation, radiates the joy of serving Christ and draws all Christians to respond to the universal call to holiness. Consequently, in order to foster vocations to the ministerial priesthood and the consecrated life, and to be more effective in promoting the discernment of vocations, we cannot do without the example of those who have already said ‘yes’ to God and to his plan for the life of each individual. Personal witness, in the form of concrete existential choices, will encourage young people for their part to make demanding decisions affecting their future. Those who would assist them need to have the skills for encounter and dialogue which are capable of enlightening and accompanying them, above all through the example of life lived as a vocation. This was what the holy Curé of Ars [St John Vianney, the patron saint of priests] did: always in close contact with his parishioners, he taught them “primarily by the witness of his life. It was from his example that the faithful learned to pray” (Letter Proclaiming the Year for Priests, 16 June 2009).”
The full text of the Pope’s message for Vocations Sunday is available as part of a special feature on www.catholicbishops.ie. The web feature includes:
- Details of vocations events and initiatives in dioceses to mark Vocations Sunday 2010
- Details of the Maynooth Seminary Open Day on Vocations Sunday – see www.maynoothcollege.ie
- Information on the visit to Ireland of the relics of St John Vianney, which will arrive in Cork on Vocations Sunday
- Details of events being organized by Vocations Ireland, the association of the Vocation Directors of the Catholic Religious Orders in Ireland
- Liturgical Resources
Notes to Editors
- Pope Paul VI instituted the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (4th Sunday of Easter) on 11 April 1964: “O Jesus, divine Shepherd of the spirit, you have called the Apostles in order to make them fishermen of men, you still attract to you burning spirits and generous young people, in order to render them your followers and ministers to us” (Pope Paul VI launching the 1st Word Day of Prayer for Vocations).
- Vocations Sunday is known as Good Shepherd Sunday and is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Easter.
- For additional information on diocesan vocations see www.vocations.ie and on vocations to religious orders see www.vocationsireland.com
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 087 310 4444