Annual Events Supporting Vocations

Throughout the year, the Church sponsors events to promote vocations and to support those pursuing a religious vocation.  Support for those religious who have dedicated their lives to the Church is shown by prayers of the faithful and through events to show thanks.

Clubs are encouraged to start several months prior to each event. Priesthood Sunday recognition is specifically presented in Tool 11.  Supporting the other major vocations-related events during the liturgical year is easier than you might think.  The annual events are:

 

  • World Day for Consecrated Life (First Sunday following February 2nd)
  • National Catholic Sisters Week (Second week of March)
  • World Day of Prayer for Vocations (Fourth Sunday of Easter)
  • Religious Brothers Day (May 1)
  • Priesthood Sunday (Fourth Sunday in September)
  • National Vocation Awareness Week (First full week of November)

Serra Participation

  • Planning, organizing, and carrying out events
  • Working with parish officials regarding events
  • Underwriting events

Outline

Several times each year, the faithful are afforded by the Church the chance to celebrate vocations

  • Winter: World Day for Consecrated Life (First Sunday following February 2nd)
  • Spring: National Catholic Sisters Week (Second week of March)
  • Spring: World Day of Prayer for Vocations (Fourth Sunday of Easter)
  • Spring: Religious Brothers Day (May 1)
  • Fall: Priesthood Sunday (Fourth Sunday of September)
  • Fall: National Vocation Awareness Week (First full week of November

Planning for your parish’s participation in these events can be made easier through the use of various ‘planning kits’

  • Available online
    • Typically include items such as…
      • Prayers
      • Liturgy planning guides
      • Bulletin announcements
      • Cards
    • Often available in PDF form

All Year

Lead Time 4-6 Months

Low Effort

Low Cost

Program History and Development

Celebrating vocations is an important part of community life in the Church.

World Day of Prayer for Vocations, National Vocation Awareness Week, National Catholic Sisters Week, World Day for Consecrated Life, Religious Brothers Day, and Priesthood Sunday are all events through which the Church provides opportunities for the faithful to celebrate vocations.  Some of these events are rather new, while others go back decades—for example, observance of National Vocation Awareness Week started in 1976.

Thanks to the efforts of lay groups and the USCCB, there are several ‘planning kits’ available online.  Using these kits can streamline the planning process.

These kits are often available in downloadable format as ready-to-print PDFs.  They typically include such items as prayers, liturgy planning guides, bulletin announcements, and cards.

Several such kits are available via the links in the next section of this summary, ‘additional resources.’  Additionally, since, as the Office of Vocations of the Archdiocese of New York has noted, “Our first priority in promoting vocations is to pray,” that section includes links to vocations prayers to be used during the Prayers of the Faithful within the Mass—as well as the previously mentioned prayers.

Resources

Reference Materials:

Religious Brothers Day – May 1
http://religiousbrothers.org/

National Catholic Sisters Week (second week of March)
Toolkit, How to List an Event and More

From Vianney Vocations:
Priesthood Sunday Materials
World Day of Prayer for Vocations Materials
National Vocation Awareness Week Materials

Priesthood Video- YouTube Priesthood – YouTube 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsD_esQ0J6E 

Short article and resources on World Day for Consecrated Life from the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC)
World Day for Consecrated Life

Website devoted specifically to Priesthood Sunday—as supported by USA Council of Serra International (with resources including Priesthood Sunday cards—scroll down about two-thirds of the way down the main page; they’re in the right-hand column:

Priesthood Sunday  
USA Council of Serra International – Priesthood Sunday

Official website of World Day of Prayer for Vocations (with resources to be used at Mass and prayer):
World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Page from USCCB website dedicated to World Day of Prayer for Vocations; includes numerous resources:
USCCB – World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Page from USCCB website dedicated to National Vocation Awareness Week; includes numerous resources:
USCCB National Vocation Awareness Week

Page from the USCCB website dedicated to World Day for Consecrated Life (with promotional resources):
USCCB World Day for Consecrated Life

Page from the vocations website of the Augustinians (religious order) detailing parts of the vocations story of St. Thomas of Villanova:
The Vocations Story of St. Thomas of Villanova

Page of the Office of Consecrated Life for the Diocese of Phoenix (AZ) with a photo essay depicting how local faithful celebrated vocations in their diocese during a special event in 2016:
Office of Consecrated Life – Photo Essay

The Archdiocese of Atlanta, GA, offers excellent suggestions for Priesthood Sunday activities. Scroll to the bottom of their page.
Archdiocese of Atlanta Priesthood Sunday Page

Serra SPARK Helpers

List of Prayers of the Faithful for Priesthood Sunday
Prayers of the Faithful for Priesthood Sunday

A selection of customizable Priesthood Sunday greeting cards and a coloring page for school-age children.
Priesthood Sunday Resources for Children

Suggested parish bulletin inserts for Priesthood Sunday
Priesthood Sunday Bulletin Inserts

Serra Resources for Priesthood Sunday
Priesthood Sunday Celebration
Priesthood Sunday Spiritual Bouquet Tally Sheet
Priesthood Sunday Prayer Card Example 1
Priesthood Sunday Prayer Card Example 2
Priesthood Sunday Prayer Card Example 3

“Let us face the vocations challenge with that equanimity and realism which take into account the
effectiveness of prayer, and which are never devoid of supernatural hope.”

Pope St. John Paul II