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Talking ~ Praying ~ Singing

About Vocations

Let's talk ...

Talking points about vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Ideas about what parishes can do to stimulate the conversation.

Examine the history of success in the parish encouraging vocations to the priesthood.

Ask these questions:

When was the last time you had a parishioner ordained for the priesthood? 

What type of encouragement from the parish helped that candidate during his years in the seminary?

What is the priest doing now after his ordination?

Perhaps, this priest could be contacted to put together a letter that can be published in the bulletin about the previous questions.

Invite a seminarian to speak after Mass about his experience being in the seminary today.

Have him address these questions:

Given all the problems the Church faces today (e.g. the challenges from the sexual abuse scandal, the issue of homosexual marriage, the place of women in ministry, etc.) what moves him to want to be ordained a Roman Catholic priest?

What kind of classes does a candidate for the priesthood take?

What kind of daily prayer life is expected in a candidate for the priesthood?

How often does he meet with his spiritual director? What does he talk about with a spiritual director? 

What kinds of men are in the seminary today? Age? Background – recent college graduate, a man with ten years experience in the business world, etc. Geography – are the seminarians all from the diocese?

What concerns do seminarians have today?

What does he hope to do after ordination? Become an associate pastor, a pastor, or some other ministry?

Have a seminarian from the parish address some of the questions in number two above in an article or a series of articles for the bulletin.

Ask a parent of a Seminarian.

About how they handled the news that their son was interested in a vocation to the Catholic priesthood?

Did they at first discourage him or tell him the life of a Catholic priesthood was too hard?

Did they react positively to his desire to become a priest?

Who did the seminarian contact regarding his interest in the Catholic priesthood?

The college or major seminary?

A diocesan recruiter for the seminary?

A priest who he admired?

Someone from the guidance center or campus ministry at his college? 

Print information in the bulletin about whom a young man should contact in your diocese, if he has an interest in the priesthood. Run this information in the bulletin regularly.

Let's Pray ...

Sample petitions for the prayer of the faithful composed by Ms. Ginny McGhee, Program Director, ODW, Archdiocese of Chicago that a parish may use throughout the year to prayer as a community for vocations.

May we call upon God to guide us in all our ways, and help us discern our paths in life, let us pray to the Lord,

May we be inspired to search out Christ through a genuine love for sacred scripture, let us pray to the Lord.

May we all be open to the call to imitate Christ in seeking out the lost and ministering to all, let us pray to the Lord,

May our community support and care for all who are prayerfully discerning following Christ in ordained ministry, let us pray to the Lord.

Create a parish prayer based on the English or Spanish Sacramentary and one based on Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers could be recited by the community as a Communion meditation. These prayers could also be printed on a Holy Card and given to the people as they enter or leave church so that they could say them at home.

Please consult the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions in the Sacramentary. In No. 8, you will find the Mass for Priestly Vocations. The opening prayer of this Mass makes a good Communion meditation or prayer for a Holy Card:

in your plan for our salvation you provide shepherds for your people.
Fill your Church with the spirit of courage and love.
Raise up worthy ministers for your altars
and ardent but gentle servants of the Gospel.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

In the Spanish Misal Romano, no. 9 in the Masses and Prayers Pro Diversas Necesidades, you will find the Misa Por las Vocaciones Sacerdotalis.

Señor, tu que eres quien provee
de pastores a la comunidad cristiana,
haz que tu Espíritu suscite en ella
sacerdotes dignos del altar
y los llene de piedad y fortaleza
para anunciar tu Evangelio.
Por Jesucristo, nuestro Senor.

Please check the Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, published by the NCCB in 1988. There is an excellent Blessing for the Special Occasions of Life on page 324 that could be adapted as a Communion Meditation or used on a Holy Card. Our adaptation of this prayer would read:

Lord God,
from the abundance of your generous love,
provide vocations to the priesthood.
Bless our efforts to encourage new vocations.
Strengthen our candidates for the priesthood.
Fill them with courage and give them a strong faith.
May they rejoice in the opportunity to preach the Gospel
and to celebrate the sacraments with your people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Plan Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations to Ordained Ministry and Consecrated Life


His Holiness John Paul II blessed this monstrance for the Church in North America so that during the Year of the Eucharist we all might pray for vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life. In cooperation with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation, the USA Council of Serra International is coordinating and sponsoring the tour of this Monstrance to US Catholic dioceses throughout the Year of Eucharist and beyond.

Adoration for Vocations
Boston, MA - March 6-19, 2016
Dallas, TX - April 1 - June 27, 2016

'Let's sing...

Music suggestions from Mr. Chuck Kessel, Director of Liturgical Music for ODW, Archdiocese of Chicago.


Gather 2nd Edition GIA - Gather Comprehensive GIA
Bring Forth the Kingdom
Christ will be your Strength
Faith, Hope and Love
For the Life of the World
God Has Chosen Me
Guide My Feet
I Am for You
Look Beyond
Psalm 110: You are a Priest forever
Psalm 117: Go Out to all the World
Psalm 119: Lord, I Love your commands
Song of the Chosen
The God who sends us Forth
The Servant Song
The Summons
We Are Called
We will serve the Lord
You are called to tell the Story
You have Anointed Me
You will show me the path of life.
As a Fire is Meant for Burning
Gifts that Last
Moved by the Gospel, Let us Move
Sow the Word
Eye Has Not Seen
Psalm 95: If today you hear his voice
We walk by faith
Abundant Life
Change Our Hearts
Glorious in Majesty
Jesus, Lead the Way
Send Me Jesus
Take Up Your Cross
The Word is In Your Heart
Unless a Grain of Wheat
We are Many Parts
Without Seeing You
Jesu Tawa Pano
Jubilate, Servite
Psalm 62-In God Alone
Psalm 145-I Will Praise Your Name
We Live a Mystery
You are the Voice

Gather Comprehensive 2nd Edition GIA
All That is Hidden
Embrace My Way and Cross
Go make a Difference
Go to the World!
God, whose purpose is to kindle
I Will Choose Christ
My Song will be for you forever
O Christ the Great Foundation
Only This I want
So You Must Do
Song of the Lord’s Command
Transform Us
Where Your Treasure Is
Who Calls You By Name
Father, We Thank Thee who has
For the Faithful who have answered
Set Your Heart on the Higher gifts
Ritual Song GIA Worship 3rd Edition GIA
Blessed Be God
Draw us in the Spirit’s tether
Go Make of all disciples
I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
Lord, You Give the Great Commission
The Kingdom of God
Your Word Went Forth
Covenant Hymn
By Gracious Powers
I Received the Living God
Love is His Word
'Tis Good Lord, to be here
Fire of God Titanic Spirit
How Shall They hear the Word…

Almost all of the GIA editions have cross-over hymns, that is, hymns that appear in more than one hymnal-edition.

We Celebrate -  World Library Publications (WLP)
People’s Mass Book -
World Library Publications (WLP)
Lord, when you came to the seashore
The Spirit of God
Let there be Life
Make Your Home in Me
Take, O Take me as I am
How Can I Keep from Singing?
How Firm a Foundation
Treasure out of Darkness
Blessed Assurance
Go, Be Justice
Whom Shall I send?
All the earth
The Servant Song
A Mighty Fortress
A New Commandment
Set your heart on the Higher Gifts
I Have Been Anointed

Almost all of the WLP editions have cross-over hymns, that is, hymns that appear in more than one hymnal-edition. Many hymns, found in GIA are also found in WLP editions.

En Espanol
Flor y Canto
Oregon Catholic Press (OCP)
Creo en Jesús
Creo, Señor
¡O Buen Jesús!
Quiero Servirte, Mi Señor
Yo Te le Ofrezco
A Quien Iremos
Cantando mí Fe
Dios es Amor
El Viñador
Envía Tu Espíritu
Te Den Gracias
Te Ofrezco Señor Mi Vida
Tu Eres Mi Hijo
Te Damos Gracias
¿Le Conocéis?

If you are still looking for hymns appropriate to this event, check the indices in the back of your hymnal under Topical Index. Look for categories like Mission, Discipleship, or Faith.

We acknowledge the assistance of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Office for Divine Worship, Rev. Robert Tuzik, Special Projects Director, for the following talking points liturgy ideas, prayers, and music.

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