Tue. Oct 20th, 2020

By SISTER DEBORAH KENNEDY, RSM
Liaison With Religious, Archdiocese of Mobile
Our Church observed World Day of Prayer for Vocations on May 3.
Instituted by Pope Paul VI in 1963 during the Second Vatican Council, this marked the 57th annual celebration of vocations to the ordained ministries and religious life in all its forms. It is a time not only to pray for those who, in the words of Pope Francis, “daily devote their lives to the service of God’s people in response to the Lord’s call,” but to pray that others may hear that same call and so respond.
We pray in gratitude for our priests and permanent deacons whose ministry of Word and Sacrament feed us spiritually. This pandemic crisis has ever more dramatically emphasized their crucial place in the lives of God’s people.
As Liaison with Religious in the Archdiocese of Mobile, I call particular attention to the Women and Men Religious who serve the people of God in multiple and varied ways throughout the archdiocese. There are 11 Religious Communities of Men, of which there are four brothers and 28 priests. They minister in parishes, educational institutions and social outreach ministries. There are 16 Religious Communities of Women, numbering 87.
The archdiocese is blessed by three Communities of Nuns and Sisters whose primary ministry is one of perpetual prayer for all God’s people, the needs of the world and in particular, the needs of the archdiocese. The remaining women religious minister in schools and parishes, in outreach programs that serve those who are poor and underprivileged, retreat ministries, services for those who are elderly, homeless and imprisoned. Many simply volunteer for whatever the need may be, especially as advocates for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Yes, World Day of Prayer for Vocations is prayer in thanksgiving and support of the committed and dedicated women and men religious who have responded to the call.
However, it is a “call” for more women and men to respond to God’s Call to Religious Life and Ordained ministry. It is a particular outreach to parents to encourage their children to consider such a Call and in turn to support that Call.
While this day focuses on Ordained and Religious vocations, every person has a vocation, every person has a calling from God. On this day, priests and religious not only pray in thanksgiving for their own vocation, but pray that all will hear the voice of God in their lives and be strengthened in their own personal response.

By Editor

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