On Good Shepherd Sunday, April 25, 2021
, the universal Catholic Church celebrates the 58th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis’ papal message for this year focuses on Saint Joseph and our love for this great saint 'next door" with three key words that mark each person's vocation - dream, service, and fidelity.
With the Year of Saint Joseph as the foundation for this year’s message from the Holy Father (Patris Corde
), we invite you to pray with us for an increase in grace in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and throughout the whole world to respond to God’s call to the priesthood and religious life.
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 our current and incoming Vocation Directors, Fr. Stephen DeLacy and Fr. David Friel, respectively, and seminarians from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in praying a Novena for Vocations between April 17th and April 25th.
These videotaped reflection/prayers for each day of the Novena will be uploaded each morning to our website (www.heedthecall.org/novena
) and Facebook (@PhillyPriest) and Instagram (@PhillyPriest) pages.
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 true vocation is born of the gift of oneself, which is the fruit of mature sacrifice. The priesthood and consecrated life likewise require this kind of maturity. Whatever our vocation, whether to marriage, celibacy or virginity, our gift of self will not come to fulfilment if it stops at sacrifice; were that the case, instead of becoming a sign of the beauty and joy of love, the gift of self would risk being an expression of unhappiness, sadness and frustration” (Patris Corde, 7).”
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Stephen P. DeLacy
Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood
Archdiocese of Philadelphia