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April 28, 2023

The 60th World Day of Paryer for Vocations, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, falls this year on Sunday, 30 April.

It is a day dedicated to recognising the role of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, and to praying for more people to answer the call to religious and priestly vocations. On this day we celebrate and honor those who have dedicated their lives to serving God and others as priests, nuns, and other religious leaders.

The theme for this year is “Vocation: Grace and Mission.”

Pope Francis' message for the 2023 World Day of Prayer for Vocations

In his message for 2023, Pope Francis calls on Christians to respond to God’s call by living a life of grace and mission. The Pope asked Christians to reflect on the theme of “Vocation: Grace and Mission,” highlighting that the Lord’s call is a complete gift of grace but also a commitment to bring the Gospel to others. He emphasised that the Christian faith involves a witness that is closely connected to the apostolate in the world.

The Pope stated that the Lord’s initiative and his gracious gift call for a response on the Christian’s part, and that “there is no vocation without mission.” He added that the Christian’s shared mission is to bear joyful witness wherever they find themselves, through their actions and words, and to reflect a gentle way of life that reflects closeness, compassion and tenderness, in contrast to the culture of waste and indifference.

Pope Francis said that the Lord’s call comes in many ways and requires a response from the human heart. He noted that the experience of the Lord’s call is part of the fibre of our being and the secret of our happiness, and can come through unexpected ways. Ultimately, the Pope said, the call is love, and Christians are called to offer others the new life they have found.

Prayers for Good Shepherd Sunday

Thank you, Jesus, for being our Good Shepherd. Thank you for giving us abundant life, even as we walk through death-shadowed valleys.  Thank you for knowing us by name, even though we sometimes forget yours. Claim us and guide us every day, in spite of ourselves, until we are safely in your house forever.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

You are the Good Shepherd. Defend the Church from peril, provide for its needs, and lead it in paths of righteousness. Through its ministry, lead many to hear your voice and follow you.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

You call your sheep by name. Bless the work of theologians and seminary professors. Help them to identify and train faithful “holy sheepdogs,” called by you to help tend your beloved flock.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Lead our children, especially teenagers, in paths of righteousness and holiness. Defend them from every enemy that tempts them to stray from your side. Channel their energy, idealism and curiosity into ventures that glorify you and lift up others.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

You are the Gate of your sheep. Protect the people of every nation from false shepherds; from rulers who care nothing for their welfare; and from all the threatening dangers of this world. Bring peace in places of violence; rich pasture in places of poverty; and true righteousness in places of injustice.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

For young men and women; That you may give them the gift of understanding to discern their service in the Church, the priesthood, diaconate, or consecrated life; And for the gift of courage to follow your call.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Find more prayers for vocations at the following links:

Sing or Listen

Here in the Diocese of Palmerston North we have one seminarian, Zung, and three Vietnamese students, Hung, Duy and Lam, who are currently learning English before joining the seminary. Please pray for these young men and their vocations.

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