#12. Rosaries for Vocations
Praying the Rosary is another way of increasing vocations to the priesthood, deaconate, and religious orders. Special Rosaries have been developed by various Church-related groups for this specific purpose. These Rosaries are tailored with special wording to go along with the traditional structure of the prayer.
Resources for Rosaries for Vocations abound on the Internet. They vary in format from printable PDFs to videos to audio Podcasts.
It has been written that praying the Rosary “…takes us to God’s heart by way of Mary’s heart.” The laity is encouraged to support priests, religious, and deacons—and those who aspire to be—through the recitation of Rosaries for Vocations.
- Special Rosaries which include as their main intentions an increase in vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and deaconate
- Can be said by a group or by a single individual
- Numerous variations of this type of Rosary are available
- Rosaries can be recited via reading from a printed guide, or……
- by following along with special video or audio podcasts, if preferred
- Video and audio podcasts
- can be accessed via computer, tablet, or smartphone
- Church leaders invite and encourage the laity to recite these special Rosaries for Vocations
- Publicizing event
- Printing rosary guide for event
- Organizing and leading groups that gather to pray Rosary for Vocations
Program History, Development, and Additional Resources
The website www.nypriest.com – which is connected to the Office of Vocations of the Archdiocese of New York (NY) – perhaps best sums up the power of praying the Rosary as a means toward increased vocations: it states that “The Rosary is a treasury of prayers that takes us to God’s heart by way of Mary’s heart. If we listen carefully, we learn the desire of Mary’s heart when she says of her divine Son, ‘Do whatever He tells you’ (John 2:5). And what does her Son tell us to do? ‘Come,’ He is calling to us, ‘follow Me’ (Matthew 19:21). Through praying with Our Lady in the Rosary, then, contemplating the mysteries of her Son, we join her in answering His call, and in asking that others might do the same.”
Numerous resources are available on the subject of praying the Rosary with the intention of increasing vocations to the priesthood, deaconate, and religious orders. There are PDF-based documents which contain guides to such Rosaries. Plus, there is a YouTube video which essentially “walks viewers through” the recitation of these Rosaries—and even audio podcasts of vocational Rosaries—which one can easily access via computer, tablet, or smartphone. (What’s more, one can find an entire website devoted to resources pertaining to praying for vocations.) These Rosaries can, of course, be prayed by a single person or a large group of people.
As mentioned elsewhere in this volume of vocation-support resources, the role of laypeople in engaging regularly in prayer for vocations has been emphasized strongly by Church leaders around the nation.
Link to a PDF document which is a guide to a Rosary for Vocations; this is from the Diocese of Brooklyn (NY) website:
Link to a YouTube video containing audio of bishop and seminarians of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau (MO) saying a Rosary for Vocations:
Link to a PDF document which is a guide to a Rosary for Vocations from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (Picayune, MS):
Link to a PDF document which is a guide to a Rosary for Vocations by a church group in Davenport, IA:
Link to Msgr Peter Dunne and Vicki Herout’s ‘A Meditated Rosary for Vocations’:
Link to Diocese of Lincoln (NE) vocations website, which includes several audio podcasts of bishop and seminarians reciting Rosary for Vocations:
SPECIAL ROSARIES FOR VOCATIONS
The following sections contain copies of two special Rosaries for Vocations provided by the Serra Club of Omaha (NE).
PLEASE NOTE: The texts for these Rosaries for Vocations are original texts from a Church leader; we have preserved them in their original forms out of respect for their author. To expand the intentional scope of these two Rosaries for Vocations, please feel free to do the following as you (your group) pray(s) aloud while following them:
- at every mention of the word ‘men,’ substitute the word ‘people’; and
- at every mention of the word ‘priest,’ substitute the words ‘priests, deacons, and religious.’ In that way, the intention will be for not just diocesan priests, but also for deacons and religious-order priests, brothers, nuns, and sisters.
SPECIAL ROSARIES I
The Joyful Mysteries
(Reflections written by Msgr. John K. Aniagwu—Lagos, Nigeria)
The Joyful Mysteries
Let us pray that all members of Serra be filled with the spirit of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in the work of their apostolate to foster and promote vocations to the ministerial priesthood in the Catholic Church throughout the world.
First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation
The Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to tell Mary of her vocation. Her vocation in the eternal plan of God was to be the Mother of the ‘Son Most High’ who would sit on the throne of His ancestor, David.
Mary’s response to her vocation was her fiat. “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to your word.”
Today, God uses diverse ‘angels’—different media to call men to the priesthood. All too often, the noise and distraction of contemporary society make it difficult for them to hear that call, let alone respond to it.
Let us pray in this mystery that men who receive the call to priesthood may respond like Mary and pronounce their own fiat.
Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation
The Virgin Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who had conceived a child at an advanced age. Mary went to be available, just in case her cousin might need her company. Elizabeth welcomed her warmly and recognized in her the Mother of her Lord. Mary, thereafter, proclaimed her hymn of exaltation, the Magnificat.
The life of a priest is one of caring and making himself available—even before people ask.
Let us join Mary in her hymn, praying that God continue to bless His Church with an ever-increasing number of men who will recognize and respond generously to the priestly vocation.
Third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity
“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”
At the birth of Jesus, God sent angels to bring the “good news of great joy” to shepherds while they kept watch over their flocks in the fields. The shepherds welcomed the news with great joy indeed, and set out at once to seek the Child and pay homage to Him.
The primary assignment of any priest is to proclaim the Good News of a God who became human “for our sake and for the sake of our salvation.”
Let us pray that all priests will be unrelenting in proclaiming the Good News in its entirety to the men and women of our time.
Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple
In obedience to the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord in the temple. Two people, at least—Simon and Anna—recognized the newborn baby as the long-awaited Messiah who would be the “light of revelation to the Gentiles” and “the glory of his people Israel who was destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel” (Luke 2:32, 34).
Every time a young man embraces the priestly vocation, there is a presentation on the part of the candidate himself and on the part of his family.
Let us pray for generosity on the part of families in offering their sons for service in the priesthood.
Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
The boy Jesus stayed back in the temple in Jerusalem to be about His Father’s business. That was His reply to his Mother’s gentle rebuke: “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety” (Luke 2:48).
The Father’s business is also the business of all those who embrace the priestly vocation. They are to devote themselves entirely to it wherever they find themselves, be it in the Church or in the wider society.
Let us pray that all priests and seminarians will not be found wanting in their commitment to doing the Father’s business in the Church and in society.
Rosary for Vocations II
The Luminous Mysteries
(Reflections written by Msgr. John K. Aniagwu—Lagos, Nigeria)
The Luminous Mysteries
Let us pray that, through the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, all Serrans will be filled with the light of Christ to guide them in their work of fostering and promoting vocations to the ministerial priesthood in the Catholic Church throughout the world.
First Luminous Mystery: The Baptism of the Lord
Jesus went to the River Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist. John the Baptist objected that it was he who needed to be baptized by Jesus. Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). After the baptism, the Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard from heaven, saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
Whenever a man responds to the priestly vocation, the Father sees His Son in that man, and the Father is well pleased with him.
Let us pray in this mystery that an ever-increasing number of men will respond to the Father’s call to follow His Son more closely in the single-minded service of God and their fellow man by living the priestly life.
Second Luminous Mystery: The Wedding Feast at Cana
Jesus performed his first miracle at the intercession of His Mother at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. He changed water into wine so that the wedding feast could continue rather than ending abruptly, to the certain embarrassment of the hosts. In doing so, He set in motion the realization of His “hour”—the hour of His glorification in the paschal event of His passion, death, and resurrection.
The biblical account concludes the story with the comment that He “revealed his glory and his disciples believed in Him” (John 2:11). The priestly vocation commits its beneficiaries to do everything in their power to reveal the glory of Jesus to all in the world, so that more and more people would believe in Him.
Let us pray that priests and seminarians may really show forth the glory of Jesus in their persons and in the discharge of their duties in the Church and in the world.
The Third Luminous Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom and the Call to Conversion
Jesus began His public ministry with a clarion call to conversion: “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news” (Mark 1:15). From that moment, conversion became a critical demand on every disciple of Christ. Everyone is called to conversion. It is something that we must do on a daily basis. Each day, we must turn to God and His Kingdom, but away from everything that would separate us from them. Today, priests must themselves heed the call to conversion. While they are doing that, they must carry on the mission of Christ of calling the whole world and all of humanity to conversion as a prerequisite for entering the Kingdom.
Let us pray that priests may themselves respond positively to the call to conversion and in turn summon the rest of the faithful to do the same by what they say and do.
The Fourth Luminous Mystery: The Transfiguration
At the transfiguration, the scene at the Baptism of Jesus was almost repeated.
Again, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were there. So, too, were two icons of Jewish religious history, Moses and Elijah. Finally, the three disciples, Peter, James, and John, were also there. The voice of the Father was heard, saying “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to Him” (Mark 9:17).
Men who embrace the priestly vocation are heeding this command of the Father. They are listening to the Son of God calling them to a life of service in the Church on behalf of their fellow men and women.
Let us pray that an ever-increasing number of men may continue to listen to the Son of God and respond positively to the priestly vocation.
Fifth Luminous Mystery: The Institution of the Holy Eucharist
Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper with His disciples to be the sacrament of His Body and Blood. He had earlier told His audience, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me and I in them” (John 6:56). In line with these statements, the Church teaches that the Eucharistic sacrifice is “the source and summit of the whole Christian life” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 11).
It has to be at the heart of the life and ministry of every priest. Hence, the Church also teaches that, “The other sacraments, as well as every ministry of the Church and every work of the apostolate, are tied together with the Eucharist and directed toward it…[because] the Most Blessed Eucharist contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth—that is, Christ Himself, our Passover and living Bread (Vatican II, Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5).
Let us pray that priests may truly place the Holy Eucharist at the center of their lives and ministry by daily celebration and fervent devotion to our Eucharistic Lord.