On Sunday, May 3, 2020
, the universal Catholic Church celebrates the 57th World Day of Prayer. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis’ papal message for this year focuses on words chosen to thank priests and support their ministry and are set on the backdrop of the Gospel passage that recounts the remarkable experience of Jesus and Peter during a stormy night on the Sea of Galilee (Mt. 14:22-33
). This resonates with the Vocation Office theme of “Jesus I Trust in You”. Especially during this time of uncertainty in our world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we must place all of our trust in Our Lord.
As we anticipate the celebration of the 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, we invite you to pray with us for increased grace to respond to God’s call to the priesthood and religious life throughout the world, but especially in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The word Novena comes from the Latin novem
meaning ‘nine’. A novena is a devotion consisting of prayer said on nine successive days, asking to obtain special grace. The practice of saying novenas is derived from Scripture. After Jesus' ascension into heaven, he told his disciples to pray together in the upper room and devote themselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). The Apostles, Blessed Virgin Mary, and other followers of Jesus prayed together for nine consecutive days, concluding in the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
To celebrate this World Day of Prayer
, we invite you to join the seminarians from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in praying a Novena for Vocations between April 25th and May 3rd
. The seminarians have videotaped their daily reflection/prayers and each day of the Novena, the videos will be uploaded to our website at www.heedthecall.org/novena
and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/phillypriest
We thank you for partnering with us to build a culture of vocations in our parishes, schools, communities, and homes. As Pope Francis reminds us in this year’s Papal Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, “Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us, perhaps even at a time when our boat was being battered by the storm. “Vocation, more than our own choice, is a response to the Lord’s unmerited call” (Letter to Priests, 4 August 2019). We will succeed in discovering and embracing our vocation once we open our hearts in gratitude and perceive the passage of God in our lives
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Stephen P. DeLacy
Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood
Archdiocese of Philadelphia