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Franciscan Sister Philomena Folse shares her vocations at a school in New Jersey (OSV News/Rich Hundley-III, Catholic Star Herald)

In his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2023 this Sunday, Pope Francis said God’s call to a particular vocation also includes the mission to offer one’s life for others. Source: CNA.

“God’s call,” the Pope said, “includes a ‘sending.’ There is no vocation without mission. There is no happiness and full self-realisation unless we offer others the new life that we have found.”

The 60th World Day of Prayer for Vocations will take place on April 30, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. St Paul VI started the annual event in 1964.

“This day,” Pope Francis said, “is a precious opportunity for recalling with wonder that the Lord’s call is grace, complete gift, and at the same time a commitment to bring the Gospel to others.”

In his message, he emphasised that the Church’s vocations – lay, priesthood, religious, or consecrated life – work together in a harmonious symphony.

The vocations are “joined together in ‘going forth’ to radiate throughout the world the new life of the kingdom of God”, he said.

Speaking about the inspiration of a vocational call, Pope Francis said sometimes the Holy Spirit acts in a completely unexpected way.

He recalled an indispensable moment in his own vocational journey when, on September 21, 1953, on his way to a school celebration he “was led to stop by a church and go to confession”.

“That day changed my life and left a mark that has endured to the present day,” he said.

However, he added, God’s call to a specific vocation is often revealed in a more gradual way.

Love is also a very important part of vocation, the Pope said: “God calls us in love and we, in gratitude, respond to him in love.” 


Pope Francis: ‘There is no vocation without mission’ (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)


Pope Francis: The Church is a vocational symphony (Vatican News)