On Good Shepherd Sunday, April 25, 2021, the universal Catholic Church will celebrate the 58th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. By setting aside this day, the Church publicly reminds each of us of our need to pray so that Our Lord may send laborers into his harvest (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). This year's message from our Holy Father, Pope Francis, 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 to respond to God’s call to the priesthood and religious life in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and throughout the whole world.
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.
In anticipation and preparation for 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 Saturday, April 17th and Sunday, April 25th. These daily videotaped reflections/prayers of the Novena will be uploaded each morning to our website (heedthecall.org/novena) and Facebook (@PhillyPriest) and Instagram (@PhillyPriest) pages.
We thank you for partnering with us in praying for an increase in grace among men and women in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to respond to God's call to the priesthood or religious life, and in building up a culture of vocations in our parishes, schools, communities, and homes.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Stephen P. DeLacy
Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood
Archdiocese of Philadelphia