As a parishioner:

  1. Pray: Of all the ways we can work towards the increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, prayer is without doubt the most essential. Make a commitment to pray for this intention every day. Regular attendance at Mass is also a fundamental aspect of our faith that strengthens the bonds of faith.
  2. Show a love of your faith: By showing that you love and value your faith, you provide a powerful witness as to the importance of living out your vocation with commitment as the Lord intended.
  3. Serve in parish ministry: Jesus asks each one of us to live a life of service. Your service in the parish as a minister of the Word or Holy Communion, on the parish pastoral council or in any way in your local church helps foster an environment that nurtures religious and priestly vocations.
  4. Friendship with priests and religious: Healthy relationships help to foster awareness, communication and respect for the lifestyle and needs of each person.

As a parent:

1. Pray: Provide opportunities for prayer in your home every day. Make it a normal part of decision making. Include vocations to priesthood and religious life in daily family prayer. The prayers need not be lengthy but fervent.

2. Explain to children the idea of vocation: Vocation being more concerned with who we are at a deeper level – our being rather than just what we do or our occupation. Discuss vocation in its widest form and the difference between one’s vocation and a profession or career.

3. Love: Parents always know that loving their children is the best anyone can do for them, it is the greatest human value. By loving children unconditionally for who they are rather than for their achievements or what they do reflects God’s love of all of us. This love then becomes part of who the child grows to be and will likewise share and nurture what they have received.

4. Read and reflect upon the Scriptures: Read the Bible and other books based upon Scripture with your children. Talk frequently about the significance of scripture passages in our daily life. This can also be integrated into family prayer. This is one of the greatest factors in nourishing the idea of priestly or religious vocations.

As a priest:

1. Pray: Prayer for an increase in vocations to priesthood and religious life is the most essential activity. Our prayer is that more people will listen to and respond to the gentle call of Christ to “Come follow me.” In our busy and changing world, too much noise means that while the call remains, it can go unnoticed. Include prayer for vocations in the general intercessions at Mass. Consider using the Mass for Vocations to Religious Life at times throughout the year. (RM, p. 1170)

2. Preach about vocations: The Gospel stories of how Jesus called his early disciples highlight how God calls people of diverse backgrounds, ages and abilities. Share your own vocation story and highlight some of the experiences that could illustrate the more fulfilling aspects of a priest’s life.

3. Spend time with young people: It is important that young people see priests as approachable, trustworthy, and friendly. Listen to their ideas, their feelings and where possible include them in projects, liturgies and encourage their participation in parish ministries. Invite them to consider priestly or religious vocation as part of their discernment of their way of life.

4. A love of priesthood: It is encouraging for people to see an open, positive, prayerful and enthusiastic living of priesthood. It shows so much more effectively than words that vocation as a priest is worthwhile, valuable and fulfilling and can inspire others to a similar way of life.