WASHINGTON (USCCB) — The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week Nov. 4-10. This annual event is a special time for parishes in the U.S. to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.
Pope Francis, in his message for the 2018 World Day of Vocations, emphasized that it is at the loving initiative of God, and by His personal encounter with each of us, that one is called. “Even amid these troubled times, the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God continually comes to encounter us. He is God-with-us, who walks along the often dusty paths of our lives. He knows our anxious longing for love and he calls us to joy. In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness.”
National Vocation Awareness Week, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, is designed to help promote vocation awareness and to encourage young people to ask the question: “To what vocation in life is God calling me?” Parish and school communities across the nation are encouraged to include, during the first week in November, special activities that focus on vocation awareness and provide opportunities for prayerful discernment.
Contemporary society is all too often saturated by constant activity and noise, so it is important this week to encourage young discerners to take time for silent, contemplative prayer. Results of studies conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate notes that 72 percent of those ordained to the priesthood or solemnly professed within the last year cited participation in Eucharistic Adoration as a prayer experience that proved influential in their discernment.