New prayer initiative for vocations to coincide with centenary of Fatima apparitions

11 May 2017


Vocations Sunday was marked in Ireland this year with the launch of a new vocations prayer initiative – #Pray4Vocations.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. To coincide with this event the Bishops’ Council for Vocations in collaboration with Saint Joseph’s Young Priests Society, the Knights of Saint Columbanus and Vocations Ireland are asking that on the opening day of the centenary celebrations on Saturday 13 May, a time of prayer will be held for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life in Ireland.

Pope Francis will be in Fatima for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima on 13 May where he will canonise two of the visionaries of the Marian apparitions there – the young shepherds Jacinta and Francisco Marto. Here in Ireland on the same day people are invited to pray the Angelus or a decade of the Rosary for vocations to the priesthood and religious life at 12noon. It is also encouraged that on the 13th of each month, from May – October 2017, that a decade of the rosary be prayed for vocations in Ireland.

Commenting on the prayer initiative Father Willie Purcell, National Coordinator for Diocesan Vocations said, “This is an invitation to prayer we are extending to parishes, schools and families. Pope Francis said that ‘vocations are born in prayer, and only in prayer can they persevere and bear fruit’”.

Welcoming the new prayer initiative, Margaret Cartwright, Director of Vocations Ireland, said, “Vocations Ireland are delighted to be part of the joint prayer initiative because praying for vocations is the most important aspect of vocation promotion and working together to create a culture of vocation is so important in our world today. Pope Francis has called for a fresh and courageous perspective when helping youth discern and discover their vocation, prayer is key to that discernment process.”

Kieran Hickey, the Dublin Diocesan President of Saint Joseph’s Young Priests Society, said that they are fully supportive of this prayer initiative, as prayer is the source of priestly vocation.

Commenting on this new prayer initiative Barney Mac Mahon, Supreme Knight with the Knights of Saint Columbanus said, “We can’t understand our calling and our vocation until we listen to the Lord, until we look upon the Lord and until we realise who it is we’re really serving.”

The prayer initiative was launched as part of the annual Vocations Sunday Mass that was broadcast on on RTÉ One Television on Sunday 7 May. Father Purcell said that the prayer initiative ties in with Pope Francis’ message for Vocations Sunday in which he sais, “I ask parish communities, associations and the many prayer groups present in the Church, not to yield to discouragement but to continue praying that the Lord will send workers to his harvest.”

Those taking part in the prayer initiative are invited to use the social media hashtag #Pray4Vocations.


  • A Prayer for Vocations

O Jesus, send labourers into your fields,
which are holy apostles, saintly priests,
heroic missionaries and dedicated sisters and brothers. 

Enkindle in the hearts of men and women 
the spark of a vocation.
Grant that Christian families
may desire to give your Church
helpers in the work of tomorrow.


  • Prayer for Vocations

LORD of the Harvest,
Bless young people with the gift of
courage to respond to your call.
Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.

INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual
love and giving –
for vocations blosson in the
good soil of faithful people.

INSTILL those in religious life,
parish ministries, and families
with the confidence and grace
to invite others to embrace
the bold and noble path
of a life consecrated to you.

UNITE us to jesus through
prayer and sacrament,
so that we may cooperate
with you in building your reign of mercy
and truth, of justice and peace.


Rosary for Vocations 

1st Luminous Mystery:  The Baptism of Jesus

The mystery of our Lord’s Baptism is the mystery of Jesus taking upon Himself the mission of the Messiah.  Thus begins His public ministry.  Let us offer this decade for those called to the priesthood and religious life but are afraid to answer because of what others may say or think.  Grant them courage, O Lord, to accept the mission You are giving them. 

2nd Luminous Mystery:  The Wedding Feast of Cana

Through the intercession of Mary, Jesus transforms ordinary water into extraordinary wine.  What incredible things God’s grace can do in our lives!  Let us offer this decade for those who are being called but doubt that they have much to offer.  May they trust in the power of God to bring all things into completion and like Mary say “yes” to His call.

3rd Luminous Mystery:  The Proclamation of the Kingdom

Our Lord begins His public ministry by announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God.  What joyous news this is for all humanity to hear!  Let us offer this decade for an increase in vocations that there might be many more priests and religious who will proclaim this truth and bear witness to it with their lives.

4th Luminous Mystery:  The Transfiguration

Jesus strengthened the faith of His Apostles by allowing His Divinity to be momentarily perceived.  He wished them to gain a supernatural perspective on His forthcoming Passion and Death.  Let us offer this decade for all those who are being called as priests and religious that they may have the grace to recognize God’s call in the midst of life and courageously accept carrying the Cross. 

5th Luminous Mystery:  The Institution of the Holy Eucharist

The gift of the Most Holy Eucharist is a mystery going beyond our ability to fully comprehend.  Our Lord’s abiding Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, the saving mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass — the world would suffer a great loss without these miracles.  Jesus gives Himself in the Holy Eucharist through the ministry of His priests.  Let us offer this decade for more priests for our country.  May God call many more men to share in the Priesthood and may they respond generously.