“Behind and before every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life there is always the strong and intense prayer of someone: a grandmother, a grandfather, a mother, a father, a community.” – Pope Francis
Speak to Jesus as you would a friend, asking Him in your own words to “send out laborers for the harvest.” (Matthew 9:37)
As you speak to Jesus, you might recall the times when you were helped by a priest and a religious, and the times when they inspired you, then thank God for their response to their vocation. Ask God that those who are called to the priestly or religious life would generously answer to their vocation. Ask God to grant to those who have responded a strong faith, and the strength to persevere as they go through their formation.
Meditate on the Gospel for today or on the readings for the coming Sunday. Contemplate on his life and teachings. Converse to him about a word, phrase or a thought from the Scripture readings that stood out to you.
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. What better way to pray for vocations than before the High Priest himself? Spend a Holy Hour with Jesus and ask God for more vocations.
The Rosary is a treasury of prayers that takes us to God’s heart by way of Mary’s heart. If we listen carefully, we learn the desire of Mary’s heart when she says of her divine Son, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). And what does her Son tell us to do? “Come,” He is calling to us, “follow Me” (Matthew 19:21). Through praying with Our Lady in the Rosary, then, contemplating the mysteries of her Son, we join her in answering His call, and in asking that others might do the same. One guide to do so can be found here: http://bit.ly/DSJVRosary
“In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ.” – Pope John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris. Centuries of tradition show that offering up our suffering is a powerful way to pray. Each day, walk with Jesus in your pain and sorrow, just as He suffered and died for our salvation. Offer your suffering for the men Jesus is calling to be His priests, praying that they hear and respond. If you visit the sick and homebound, you can invite them to join in this powerful ministry as well.
Consider forming a group in your parish to regularly pray for vocations. This could include a Holy Hour for Vocations, Rosary for Vocations, Stations of the Cross for Vocations, and other methods of prayer.
Incorporate prayer for vocations in your daily and weekly prayers. You can say a short prayer for vocations after Mass, when you wake up in the morning, or in your prayers before bed. Other prayers can be found online, including the Stations of the Cross for Vocations. Commit to pray for Vocations.
For an increase in vocations to priesthood and consecrated life, especially in places where they are most needed. We pray to the Lord…
For those who work with youth, that they will inspire children and young adults to be open to God’s call. We pray to the Lord…
For those who are having difficulty discerning their vocations, that the Holy Spirit give them wisdom and peace. We pray to the Lord…
That young men from our parish will respond to the Church’s tremendous need for priests. We pray to the Lord…
That young women from our parish will remain open to consecrating themselves to God as religious sisters. We pray to the Lord…
That Christian parents will happily encourage their children to remain open to priesthood or consecrated life. We pray to the Lord…
In thanksgiving for the parents of all priests, both living and dead. We pray to the Lord…
Children’s Vocation Prayer
Jesus, I know that You love me. I love You very much.
In Baptism, You made me a child of God and called me to be close to You always.
Teach me how to talk to You, how to listen to You, and how to follow You.
May everything I do lead me to You.
Bless religious sisters and brothers and priests, who follow You with their whole lives.
Bless my family and all families. Keep them close to Your heart.
Your divine Son taught us to pray
to the Lord of the harvest
to send laborers into His vineyard.
We earnestly beg You
to bless our parish, our school, and our Diocese
with many more priests and religious
who will know You intimately, love You fervently,
and serve You joyfully
through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Continuously call our young people
to a living encounter with Your Son
in the Word and Eucharist,
that they might be made worthy ministers
of your Holy Catholic Church.
Strengthen them with the support of their parents,
teachers, and friends on earth
and all the angels and saints in heaven.
May the ever Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of the Church, intercede for us
that we might listen to the Word and act on it.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Joseph, Patron of our Diocese, pray for us!