National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW), Nov. 3-9, 2019, is an annual celebration in the U.S. Catholic Church dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renewing our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these vocations.

In his message for the 2019 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that unlike a secular career, a vocation is a gift born from God’s own initiative: “The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God into our freedom; it is not a ‘cage’ or burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be a part of a great undertaking.”

Each of us in the Church has a key role to play in inspiring vocations, both in the way we discern and live out our own vocations, and by encouraging others, especially young people, to ask: “To what vocation in life is God calling me?”

Sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, NVAW began in 1976 when the U. S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year for NVAW. Beginning in 2014, NVAW was moved to the first full week of November.

Ways to encourage & pray for vocations:

20 Ways to Promote Vocations in your Parish or School (USCCB)
Top 10 Things to Promote Vocations (USCCB)
Prayers for Vocations (USCCB)
10 Ways for Families to Promote Vocations (Archdiocese of Detroit)

Read the October Vocations column in FAITH Grand Rapids magazine | Read past issues of FAITH

Learn more about vocations to consecrated life, priesthood, and the permanent diaconate:

Priestly Vocations
Twenty-five men from the Grand Rapids Diocese are discerning a vocation to the priesthood. Visit the Office of Priestly Vocations website to learn more, and follow them on Facebook.

Interested in exploring the priesthood? Learn about discernment opportunities available through the Office of Priestly Vocations.

Permanent Diaconate
Ten men of our diocese are being admitted to candidacy for the permanent diaconate on Nov. 4. Fifteen men are currently aspirants spending a year in concentrated discernment. The next class of deacons for the diocese is currently being formed. The deadline for applications is March 2019. Learn more about the permanent diaconate program in our diocese.

Consecrated Religious Life in our diocese
Learn more about communities of women and men religious serving in our diocese.

Learn more from the USCCB about:

Vocations | Discerning Women | Discerning Men | World Day for Consecrated Life | Parent Resources