From Bishop Walkowiak:

Dear friends in Christ,

Today we celebrate World Day of Prayer for Vocations, also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” In a special way today, we give thanks for the men and women who have discerned and answered God’s call to a life of ordained ministry or consecrated life. We are blessed by their service to the people of God in West Michigan.

The celebration of the sacraments would cease to exist without our priests and deacons, and our religious men and women play a vital role in education and service to our community. Please join me in thanking them for their work on behalf of the Church!

As we celebrate this special day, parents and grandparents play a vital role in encouraging vocations. Please invite the young people in your life to be open if God calls them to the priesthood or religious life. Following God is a serious, but joyful duty, and your encouragement is essential in nurturing vocations.

May our new prayer initiative to increase vocations from the Diocese of Grand Rapids bear much fruit. Please join me in these efforts.

About World Day of Prayer for Vocations

World Day of Prayer for Vocations, also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday” is observed on Sunday, April 21, 2024. The purpose of this day is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2).  Please pray that young men and women hear and respond generously to the Lord’s call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes.

Resources for promoting vocations can be found on the USCCB website.

While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries (priesthood and diaconate), consecrated life in all its forms (male and female religious life, societies of apostolic life, consecrated virginity), secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life.

Read Called to Sow Seeds of Hope and to Build Peace – Pope Francis’ message for the 61st World Day (Vatican, multiple languages)

Pope Francis’ message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations stresses fraternity, hope (National Catholic Register, March 19)

View additional resources on our National Vocation Awareness Week web page.