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VOCATION DAYS

Vocation Calendar

The work of promoting vocations at a school, homeschool, college campus, or in a religious education program will often revolve around the days that we usually promote vocations. Remember to be flexible, especially with vocation days that fall outside of the typical school week. The activity will be beneficial if executed anytime near the official calendar date.

For example, a parish will celebrate Priesthood Sunday in the parish on a Sunday. However, a school vocation ministry or teachers could have students produce cards for their priest and have a priest appreciation reception the Friday before or after the actual date. Your priest will not care; he will be thrilled to be remembered in this way.

Calendar of Events

Sample Calendar (Word)

Sample Calendar (PDF)

Vocations Days (Word)

Vocations Days (PDF)

Download Vocation Ministry Logo

National Catholic Schools Week -Last week in January

Including vocation-related activities into this week each year strengthens the Catholic identity of a school.

Consider one of these activities at your school during National Catholic Schools Week

Ideas:

  1. Design a Priest or Sister
  2. Decorate bulletin boards with vocations in mind
  3. Hold an Art/Essay contest with a vocations theme
  4. Distribute Family Discussion Table Tent
  5. Hold a faith-based quiz bowl
  6. Invite a sister to address students at a School Assembly
  7. Implement lesson plans from one of the free curricula for vocations

World Day for Consecrated Life – February 2 / Feast of the Presentation of our Lord
group of priests and nuns

Consecrated life is a blessed gift given by Jesus Christ, who chooses a person to answer his great call of love in a distinct and special way. He requests that person leave behind features of the world such as marriage and wealth to serve their brothers and sisters.  Bringing awareness to and praying for those consecrated to Christ is a fundamental goal of this ministry.

Announcement:

Today the Church celebrates World Day for Consecrated Life. In this vocation men and women seek an intimate relationship with Christ, many living in convents and monastaries. These witnesses show the world that we are all ultimately called to unite with Christ. Please pray for all those living this radical life, following Jesus.

Newsletter Blurb:

We celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life today. Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, especially our own  __________ and __________ who attended our school. May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God’s gift of their vocation.

Prayers of the Faithful:

For those consecrated to God by the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience that they may seek to live their baptismal promises more intensely and have the grace to persevere in their commitment to the Lord and serve with open hearts and willing spirits. We pray to the Lord…

For those who have responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be a consecrated person that they may experience the support of the Church as they continue their growth in holiness. We pray to the Lord…

We pray for those who are consecrated to God by the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. May they always reveal the love of Christ to those they encounter and continue to enrich our world by their dedicated lives of prayer. Lord hear us…

We pray for all those who are discerning their vocation in life, particularly those whom the Lord is calling to consecrated life. May they be given the wisdom to hear God’s call and the courage to respond generously. Lord hear us…

For those who are called to the consecrated life, may they be faithful witnesses of God’s love. May others be inspired to live their baptismal
commitment by professing the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. We pray to the Lord…

For all who actively support the promotion of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, that they may see the fruit of their efforts in a rich harvest of vocations. We pray to the Lord…

That the life and mission of the men and women in consecrated life be a means of sanctification for them and building up the kingdom of God. We pray to the Lord…

For all pastors and parish priests of our diocese, that they will recognize and invite those men and women being called to ordained and consecrated lives to answer the call. We pray to the Lord…

Ideas:

Consider one of these activities at your school for this event to celebrate the men and women who have said yes to serving Christ with their lives:

  1. Place a prayer petition for consecrated men and women in the Prayers of the Faithful in the school Mass.
  2. Take up a gift card collection and send them with a card to those consecrated men and women from your own school. If you don’t have any, send them to a nearby convent or monastery.
  3. Display the Banner (download below)
  4. Obtain posters of the consecrated in formation from the Office of Vocations, to place at each school entrance. If they don’t produce them, consider displaying one of these posters.
  5. Ask consecrated men or women, which includes religious sisters and brothers, to speak at a school assembly or visit classrooms.
  6. If you don’t have any consecrated men or women in your area who can visit, consider playing one of the many Vocation Videos in Phase II, that show consecrated life in a beautiful, inspiring, and instructive way.
  7. Ask students to pray for each of the consecrated men and women from your school. Ask each student to fill out a spiritual bouquet found in Phase II and offer their prayers as gifts to them.

Resources:

Intercessions for Consecrated Life (PDF)

World Day for Consecrated Life Banner (PDF)

World Day for Consecrated Life Banner – Spanish (PDF)

Consecrated Life Series (Word)

World Marriage Day- 2nd Sunday in February

National Marriage Week- February 7-14

 

Married Couple on a snowy background with text that reads World Marriage Day.

 

Older couple standing together smiling.The permanent theme for World Marriage Day is “Love One Another” from the commandment given to us by Jesus in John 14. This gospel gives us a simple but challenging message of how our Heavenly Father wishes us to live. Loving one another is a daily decision – simple, but challenging.

World Marriage Day can be celebrated in various ways, but most importantly it is done by uplifting those who have said YES to one another in the sacrament of marriage. We want to make sure that students know that marriage is a beautiful vocation and show them strong witnesses to that beauty.

Remember: Marriages striving for holiness = Growing, thriving Church and holy vocations.

Newsletter Blurb:

This week we celebrate National Marriage Week! Let’s take time to pray for our parents and those who are married. Do something special for a couple whose marriage inspires you! Say a prayer for your future spouse.

Ideas:

  • Organize prayer for those married couples that students admire.
  • Fill out Spiritual Bouquets in Phase II and give them to the couple.
  • For older students, a married couple could speak about the joys of marriage.
  • Have the students draw or write a note of thanks to their parents or a couple whose marriage inspires them.
  • Explore the lives of married saints.

 

Uplift Your Priest-

Our priests are being called into great heroic action by offering the sacraments, finding creative ways to serve parishioners, and maintaining less than full churches with limited staff support as the pandemic continues. In response, Houston-based Vocation Ministry launches its annual “Uplift Your Priest” campaign. The campaign is designed to inspire the laity to support and encourage their priests. We need to let our clergy know that their people recognize their daily sacrifices.

Ideas:

  • Call/text/email your priest
  • Send spiritual bouquets to him
  • Drop off popcorn and snacks for movie night
  • Send him drawings or paintings by children
  • Pray, fast, and offer sacrifices for him
  • Send him a Gift Card from Amazon or a restaurant
  • Make a family video message/song of affirmation for him
  • Create a sidewalk message in front of the church/rectory
  • Post a picture of your family with your priest
  • Drop off or have dinner/lunch delivered
  • Send financial support to the parish, if able
  • Hold a “Parade of Love” for him
  • Challenge and tag 3 families/individuals to pray a Rosary for him on social media
  • Invite him and other people or families for a digital “gathering”
  • Write him a letter thanking him for his sacrifices
  • Deliver any protective gear or cleaning supplies he may need

 

Learn more about Uplift Your Priest Campaign

World Day of Prayer for Vocations – Parish – 4th Sunday in Easter

Woman's hands praying over candles with rosary.Established in 1964 Pope Paul VI designated Good Shepherd Sunday to be World Day of Prayer for Vocations which is the day each year that all Catholics are asked to pray to God that he send more workers into the harvest.

Newsletter Blurb:

The Church throughout the world prays for vocations on World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Will you make a special effort to ask the Lord for more vocations, especially to the priesthood and religious life?

  • Pray for the priests who have ministered to you throughout your life, both living and dead.
  • Keep our priests and sisters, serving our school, in your prayers throughout the week.
  • Encourage your children to consider a vocation as a priest or religious brother or sister.
  • Pray a rosary for more young men and women in our diocese to respond to God’s call.

Prayers of the Faithful:

On this upcoming World Day of Prayer for Vocations, we pray that God will supply holy shepherds for the Church. Let us pray to the Lord.

  • That the example of religious sisters and brothers will show forth the Church as the sacrament of salvation for the world. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • For all Catholics struggling to discern their vocations, that the Holy Spirit give them wisdom and peace. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • That God will call men from our own school to become priests. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • For those in our school called to profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • That teachers and youth ministers will encourage children and teens to respond to God’s call. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • That parents will encourage their children to consider the priesthood or consecrated life. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • For the deceased clergy and religious who have served our parish, that the Good Shepherd will welcome them with open arms. Let us pray to the Lord

Ideas:

  • Encourage the youth to pray in any way possible.
  • My favorite prayer card for the youth is Do Whatever He Tells You, which you will also find under Phase I, Vocation Prayer Cards.
  • Bring children before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
  • You will find below worship aids for Holy Hours and a drawing or journal page for adoration.

world day of prayer for vocations logo.

Resources:

https://www.worlddayofprayerforvocations.com/ – This website has many resources from Vianney Vocations for this special day!

World Day of Prayer for Vocations Banner.

Religious Brothers Day -May 1/ Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker

Religious Brothers Day offers the opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for religious Brothers in our lives. It also gives an opportunity to consider how we all invite, walk with and encourage young people to discern God’s call in their life.

Announcement:

Today we celebrate Religious Brothers Day, where we take time to remember the Brothers who played a part in our lives. We ask that you also pray for an increase in vocations to Religious Brotherhood.

Newsletter Blurb:

Today, May 1st, we celebrate Religious Brothers Day! Brothers live in religious communities. Though not ordained, they take vows and promise to use their talents to serve God wherever the community decides they are needed. Join us in praying for the brothers from our school/diocese Brother______ and Brother______. Let us praise God for their courage and their generosity. Also, please fill out the spiritual bouquets, which is an offering of prayer, for them. Let us show Br. ______ and Br. _____ our encouragement and gratitude in thoughts and deeds. God bless Religious Brothers!

Prayers of the Faithful:

  • We pray that the witness of religious Brothers and Sisters in the Church may draw all persons to know, love, and serve God in this world. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • For all religious Brothers and Sisters whom God has sent in the name of Jesus to serve the people in love and service
    that they will be blessed with continued faithfulness to Jesus and inspire many more to consider a vocation to consecrated life. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • We pray God’s blessing on all religious Brothers who have devoted their lives to building up God’s Kingdom of love,
    peace, and justice. Let us pray to the Lord.
  • We ask you to guide all religious Brothers, strengthen them, sustain them and shower them with your grace. May they always be close to you in prayer and reach out, in turn, to help their neighbors in need. Let us pray to the Lord.

Ideas:

  • Make an announcement at school
  • Put picture and info of brothers from your parish/diocese in bulletin or poster at the entrance of the church
  • Send a care package of practical items to a monastery in your diocese or nearby diocese.
  • Give a lesson on vows, religious brothers, the difference between priests and brothers.
  • Watch a 20-minute interview with Brother Leven Harton, OSB from Vocations LIVE! HERE or a deeper dive into the lives of Benedictine monks (brothers and priests) HERE
  • Put pictures and info of brothers from your school/parish on a bulletin board, poster, or newsletter.
  • Send a card signed by the students in your class to the Brothers at a monastery in your diocese or nearby diocese.

Resources: 

www.yearforconsecratedlife.com/

www.religiousbrothers.org/events/religious-brothers-day/

World Priest Day – Celebrated on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

World Priest Day (AKA World Day for the Sanctification of Priests) is all about praying for your priest and his holiness!  Every day our priests pray for us and our intentions as they preside over Mass, hear confessions, annoint the sick, or bury our loved ones. Don’t forget to tell your priest you are praying for him. You never know what he is going through, sacrificing out of love for us.

Announcement:

Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and World Priest Day, which is a day set aside to pray for priests, so we encourage each of you to pray in a special way today for Fr. ________ that he is strengthened and renewed each day as he serves as a priest of Jesus Christ.

Newsletter Blurb:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, protect our priest _____ in the midst of his work. Comfort him in his afflictions. Give him health of body, assistance with all his needs, and your blessing on all that he does. We ask the Holy Spirit to come down and light his heart anew for the priesthood and help him to grow in holiness

Prayers of the Faithful:

For Father _____________,  that the Holy Spirit will come down upon him and light his heart anew for the priesthood, we pray to the Lord.

For all the priests who have served at our parish or graduated from our school, may they seek holiness each day.

That we may never take the presence of our priests for granted, as we cherish the celebration of the Mass and are nourished by the Eucharist, we pray to the Lord…

 

Download Single Card (PDF)

Download 8 Card File (PDF)

 

Ideas:

  • Promote in school announcements and newsletter.
  • Pray a Rosary for priests and their intentions.
  • Pray for priests during Eucharistic Adoration.
  • Organize a Prayer Drive for priests.
  • Place a prayer for priests in the newsletter.
  • Promote in school announcements.
  • Ask students to fill out a spiritual bouquet for the priest.
  • Use the prayer from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Resources:

Rosary for Priests (PDF)

 

Rosary for Vocations brochure.You can also purchase this Rosary for Vocations brochure from Vianney Vocations.

It contains meditations on the vocation to holiness we all share, on marriage, the diaconate, religious life, and the priesthood.

Don’t forget to tell your priest you are praying for him. You never know what he is going through, sacrificing out of love for his parishioners.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, protect our priests in the midst of their work at the parish. Comfort him in his afflictions. Give him health of body, assistance in his temporal needs, and your blessing on all that he does. Amen!

 

Spiritual Bouquet (PDF)

 

st john vianney greeting card

Purchase St. John Vianney greeting card for Priests from Vianney Vocations at https://www.vianneyvocations.com/product/greeting-card-for-priests/

Priesthood Sunday – Last Sunday in September

Priesthood Sunday is the perfect opportunity to guide students and parents to showing their priests appreciation. This can take a variety of forms from a note or prayer to a more complicated reception for all. No matter the form, assuring the priests of the loving care and gratitude of the students will stay with him long after Priesthood Sunday is over.

priesthood sunday logo.

Announcement:

Please join me on this special day Priesthood Sunday in praying for our priests, in praising God for their courage and their generosity. Along with prayer, we invite you to take a moment during class to write a note of appreciation to one or all our priests. Let Fr. J, Fr. C, and Fr. V know how special they are to you. God bless our priests!

Newsletter Blurb: 

This Sunday is Priesthood Sunday! Join us in praying for our priests, praising God for their courage and their generosity. Also, please take a moment at the front office to fill out a spiritual bouquet, which is an offering of prayer for one or both of our priests. Let us show Fr. A and Fr. B our encouragement and gratitude in thoughts and deeds. God bless our priests!

Prayers of the Faithful: 

  • For all priests who are ordained to serve our Church, that their ministry may be fruitful and appreciated by the people whom they serve, we pray to the Lord…
  • For the gift to our (parish or diocese) of vocations to the ordained priesthood, that good men may be drawn to love and to serve the People of God, we pray to the Lord…
  • For retired priests, that they may experience God’s abundant love as they walk a new path of prayer and servanthood in retirement, we pray to the Lord…
  • For Father _____________,  in his ministry to the students of (school name), that we may affirm, support, and celebrate his gift of service to us, we pray to the Lord…
  • That we may never take the presence of our priests for granted, as we cherish the celebration of the Mass and are nourished by the Eucharist, we pray to the Lord…
  • For all priests who struggle with loneliness, declining health, or loss of mobility, that they may be comforted by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we pray to the Lord…
  • That this school family may always embrace our priest(s), and sustain his ministry by our love, our constant prayer, and our trust in his leadership, we pray to the Lord…
  • For priests who now sleep in peace of the resurrection, and for those who may die this year or this day, that God lead them gently into their eternal reward, we pray to the Lord…

Ideas: 

  • Encourage students and parents to pray for your priest. There are hundreds of ways to do this, but here is a prayer card specifically designed for this day.
  • Coordinate a coffee cake reception following the school Mass
  • Offer an essay, poster, or poetry contest on this or similar topic: “Why Fr. _____ is so amazing!”
  • Include the Priesthood Sunday banner in front of the school
  • Include a biography of your priest in the newsletter
  • Have everyone sign a card for your priest that can be downloaded below. Each class may want its own BIG card. Then, display them at the donut and coffee reception.
  • Coordinate a Prayer Drive for Priests, where students and parents sign up to pray for their priest, using the downloads below.
  • Gather a picture of when your priest(s) was younger and share it with your students and parents in various ways.
  • Ask students to write a note of thanks to the priest on the Dear Father Letter below.
  • Ask your priest ahead of time to fill out the Get to Know Your Priest Questionnaire in Phase I to know what he would like best. Share his answers in newsletter blurbs leading up to this day or share them all at once on a science fair board at a Priesthood Sunday reception.

Resources: 

Priesthood sunday letter.

 

award for the best priest.

Download All Files (ZIP)

 

Priesthood Sunday Prayer Cards
Available for purchase at https://www.vianneyvocations.com/product-tag/priesthood-sunday/

National Vocation Awareness Week- First Full Week of November

students in a classroom setting raising their hands.

National vocation awareness week logo.National Vocation Awareness Week is an annual week-long celebration dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and marriage through prayer and education. We renew our prayers and support for those who are discerning their vocation. You can find great ideas and resources for the week at vocationawarenessweek.com which is updated each year a 2-3 months before the event.

Announcement:

National Vocation Awareness Week is an annual week-long celebration dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and marriage through prayer and education. Let us renew our prayers and support for those who are discerning their vocation, especially from our parish.

Newsletter Blurb:

Did you know that in our country, compared to 50 years ago, there are 20,000 fewer priests and 130,000 fewer religious sisters? At the same time, the Catholic population has continued to grow steadily. During National Vocation Awareness Week, please pray that young people today hear and generously respond to God’s call. Please encourage your child to ask God what His will is for his/her life!

 

During her Solemn Profession ceremony, 28-year-old Sister Maria Teresa prostrates, symbolizing her complete submission to God.Prayers of the Faithful:

  • During National Vocation Awareness Week, we pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. We pray to the Lord.
  • For Catholic educators, that they will inspire students to remain open to God’s call for their lives. We pray to the Lord.
  • That young men from our school will respond to the Church’s tremendous need for priests. We pray to the Lord.
  • That young women from our school will remain open to consecrating themselves to God as religious sisters. We pray to the Lord.
  • That Christian parents, as they live their own vocations to marriage, will encourage their children to consider becoming priests, brothers, or sisters. We pray to the Lord.
  • That seminarians receive the graces they need to become holy priests who speak the truth with love. We pray to the Lord.
  • For all priests and religious men and women who have served our school, both living and dead. We pray to the Lord.

Group of priests taking a selfie

SAMPLE WEEK OF ACTIVITIES: 

Look at Vocation Curricula, under Phase I, Awareness and Education, for Lessons for this week.

 

Monday: Parish School Religion teachers and catechists introduce vocations to their students, using the Quick Reference Vocation Guide. Pass out a prayer card to each student – Marian prayer card “Do Whatever He Tells You”from Vianney Vocations. Send the “ABCs of Fostering Vocations” page home with each student or add to newsletter.

Tuesday: Assembly for 5th-8th graders: guest speaker. Could be a priest, seminarians, and/or a sister or brother. Hopefully, there is time for them to visit classrooms of schoolchildren who will be eager to meet them.

Wednesday: At the all-school Mass, ask an alumnus who graduated from the parish and answered God’s call to become a priest, brother, or sister to visit and tell their vocation story.

Thursday: Pass out age-appropriate Vocation Worksheets from Vianney Vocations to introduce vocations in a fun way to the students. Teachers could also use Stories of Service or grade-level lesson plans from the USCCB website

Friday: .Pass out this prayer card for students in junior high from Prayer to Know My Vocation

“For I know well the plans I have in store for you… plans not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope.”-Jer. 29:

 

Ideas:

  • Boy looking through a priest cutout.Make an announcement before school about activities
  • Give out Table Tents to spur discussion at home
  • Invite married couples to speak to older youth
  • Suggest to teachers to play games and show vocation videos to kids
  • Be creative; introduce prayer for vocations this week.
  • Ask a priest to give a homily about vocations at school Mass and to visit classes.
  • Invite consecrated sisters to speak at a Vocations Assembly.
  • Show age-appropriate vocation videos to students

Resources: 

Vocation Vocabulary (PDF)

How to Become a Priest, Brother, or Sister, (PDF)

Difference Between Nun and a Sister (PDF)

 

Order resources from www.vocationawarenessweek.com

Use these cute name tags for any activity during the week: VBS Name Tags

vocations awareness week banner.

World Day of Cloistered Life-  November 21 (The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Nun peeking out through doorway.On this day the Church celebrates World Day of Cloistered Life, an ecclesial event for all Catholics to commemorate the hidden lives of cloistered and monastic religious.

A few years ago at a general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reminded the Church, “Let us give thanks to the Lord for the powerful testimony of cloistered life.” He also urged the faithful to lend their spiritual and material support to these brothers and sisters of ours “so that they can carry out their important mission.”

Newsletter Blurb:

This November 21 (the Memorial of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary in the Temple), the Church celebrates World Day of Cloistered Life. This day all Catholics can pray for those who live as a cloistered and monastic religious.

For more information visit CloisteredLife.com

Ideas:

  • Ask students to pray, especially if an alumnus has said Yes to this life or prayer
  • Students can participate in a novena, offer up Masses, etc., send them Spiritual Bouquets from Phase II
  • Give them encouragement by asking students to write letters to contemplative communities
  • Include the petitions below in a school Mass
  • Place a picture and information about cloistered life in a prominent location.
  • Send a care package of practical items to a cloistered order in your area.
  • Highlight any nun, who is an alumnus or member of the parish.

Resources: 

Novena for the Feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to World Day of Cloistered Life (PDF)

Novena for the Feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to World Day of Cloistered Life (Word)

Holy Hour to Celebrate World Day of Cloistered Life (PDF)

Holy Hour to Celebrate World Day of Cloistered Life (Word)

Petitions (PDF)

Petitions (Word)

PRAYER

Consecration for Students

The first mission is clear: Pray! Lead students to personal holiness through consecration to Jesus through our Blessed Mother, the model and mother of all vocations. This prayer, offered in two ageappropriate versions, can be said at the beginning of each day, week, school year, or some combination of these three. Place all the students and their work under our Blessed Mother’s patronage.

Notes:

  • Consider placing a small statue of the Blessed Mother in the classroom to remind students to continue to ask for her intercession on their behalf.
  • Consider posting or distributing a print copy for students.

Resources:

Queen of Vocations

Available on vianneyvocations.com for $4 each

 

2″ x 8″ Bookmark for Classroom Consecration

Includes prayer for vocations on the front and Memorare on the back.
(50 for $5 available at vianneyvocations.com)

 

Consecration for Students

Fr. Victor Perez wrote two age-appropriate prayers for the students to consecrate their work to Jesus through our Blessed Mother.

Consecration for Students (Word)

Intercessory Prayers for Vocations at School Mass

Since prayers are of utmost importance, students should ask for the intercession of God and all the saints in heaven, especially at each Mass. These prayers can be for vocations, in general, those discerning a call, or for their own vocation.

Notes:

Here are a few examples:

  • That our young people will be open to their unique vocation through prayer and will adore Christ the King by their faithfulness to his call, we pray to the Lord.
  • That all those initiated by baptism to be followers of Christ may discern and live out the vocation to which Christ is calling them, we pray to the Lord.
  • That all Catholics will recognize their responsibility to discover their vocation in Christ and follow him, especially those chosen for the special calling to the priesthood or consecrated life, we pray to the Lord.

Vocation General Intercessions:

Intercessory Prayers at School Mass

 

Vocation General Intercessions (Word)

Pick A Saint/Intercession

Along with asking for God’s help at Mass, inspire youth and young adults to seek intercessory help from a saint. This activity could be long-term, with each student choosing a saint for the entire year. To make the search more manageable, you might provide a list of saints and ask them to do a little research about the saints’ lives to see which one inspires them. In making their own selection of a saint to ask prayers from, they are more likely to develop a prayer relationship with this special saint.

Here are a few examples of well-known intercessors for vocations:

  • St. Alphonsus Liguori, Patron of Vocations and Theologians
  • St. Junípero Serra, Patron of Vocations
  • St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests
  • St. Charles Borromeo, Patron of Seminarians
  • St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Patron of Clergy
  • St. Monica, Patron of Married Women
  • St. Scholastica, Patron of Nuns inspiration for their own vocation.

Resources:

Saints for Youth and Young Adults (Word)

Prayer Drive

Prayer is powerful! This activity encourages students to pray for priests and consecrated sisters and brothers of the school and parish.  The school or a teacher asks students to sign up to pray for a priest, sister, or seminarian during a set period of time.

Notes: 

This activity is simple to put into action and can be used to pray for any who has said “Yes” to their vocation, including married couples.

Prayers for Priests/Religious on Special Days

Many times, a priest’s special days go unnoticed. A welcomed present of prayer is perfect for priests and consecrated sisters and brothers involved in the school and parish, especially on their birthday, or ordination anniversary.

Notes:

  • This activity is simple to put into action and can be used to pray for any priest, seminarian, or religious, celebrating a special day.
  • Coupling this activity with Spiritual Bouquets (p. 88) works well, as the students have something to give the recipient of prayers.

Rosary for Vocations

Striving for holiness, our first universal call, includes praying and especially asking our Blessed Mother for prayers. She wants us to bring our sorrow and joy to Jesus. She is always pointing us to her Son. Praying the Holy Rosary, especially with the intention of vocations, is a gentle way to encourage students to seek God’s will in their lives. This prayer activity is perfect for walking on the school track, in the classroom, after Mass, or in many situations. Allowing students the opportunity to pray the Rosary, within their daily schedule, encourages them to continue this practice for the rest of their lives.

Notes:

  • This activity may be led by the teacher, pastor, a priest, or religious—whoever is on campus regularly.
  • Create a Rosary Group for parents at the school to pray for their child(ren) and their vocation.

Resources:

Holy Rosary for Vocations Prayer.

Holy Rosary for Vocations (JPG)

Holy Rosary for Vocations (PDF)

Walking Rosary for Vocations

How to Pray the Rosary for Children

Buy Package of 50at catholiccompany.com

What better gift to give our children than the practice of saying the Rosary on a regular basis? This entertaining and educational pamphlet, How to Pray the Rosary for Children, gives parents and religious educators a useful guide to explaining both the way the Rosary is prayed, as well as the reasons we pray it. Designed to catch and keep the attention of young children while presenting the timeless truths of the Faith, this pamphlet is useful both at home and in the classroom.

Vocation Prayer Cards

Encourage students to pray for vocations by distributing prayer cards. Each card should include an age-appropriate prayer for vocations that can be used throughout the school year or changed periodically. The principal/bishop could ask all the students in the school/diocese to pray the same prayer, perhaps even at the same time. In this way, students feel part of the same, larger mission.

Notes:

Examples of Vocation Prayers for youth and young adults:

  • Children’s Prayer for Vocations (Grades K-4) Jesus, I know that You love me. Teach me how to talk to You, how to listen to You, and how to follow You. Bless our priests, religious sisters and brothers, and married couples. Bless my family. Keep all of us close to Your heart. Amen.
  • Prayer to Discover My Vocation (5th Grade and up) Heavenly Father, if you call me to Holy Matrimony, lead me to my future spouse. Keep us holy and pure that we may grow in love for You and each other. If I am called to another vocation in the Church, give me the courage to say “yes.” Help me to be a faithful instrument of Your grace for the souls entrusted to my care. Please place holy people in my life to assist on this path of discovering my vocation that I may become an effective witness of Your love to the world. I ask this through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary and in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
  • If students struggle keeping track of prayer cards, consider posting a prayer for them to recite on a bulletin board.

Resources: 

Prayer Card for Children

A simple rhyming prayer to know my vocation. Perfect for Catholic schools or religious education classes in English or Spanish. (50 for $8) from Vianney Vocations

Litany for Vocations & Priests

Litany for Vocations (Word)

Litany for Priests – Oremus pro Invicem (Word)

Litany for Priests – Spanish Version (Word)

 

Way of the Cross for Vocations

 

A collection of amazing prayers for seminarians, priests, and vocations in general:

http://www.stacharlotte.com/95

AWARENESS & EDUCATION

Announcements/Newsletter Blurbs

One of the easiest ways to promote vocations is by incorporating different aspects of vocations into the morning announcements at a school, and it is free! Also, share information in the school newsletter, which has the added benefit of reaching families. Advertise upcoming activities and vocation-related days, write recaps of recent events, thank everyone who attended, and share success stories. Include photos at every opportunity to attract attention. In between activities, submit prewritten blurbs that will provoke thoughts about vocations. When students and adults are tuned in to ministry activities, the Holy Spirit can more easily work on their hearts and minds.

Notes:

Sample blurbs to begin publicizing an upcoming event:

  • Pope Francis is coming! Look for Pope Francis’ cutout at Field Day next week. Stop by the ministry booth and take a picture with our pope!
  • The students and faculty of St. Francis High School wish Fr. John a very Happy Birthday! You are such a gift to our school, and we are truly blessed to have your guidance and wisdom! Thank you for your “Yes” to the priesthood!

Sample morning announcement:

  • This Sunday, February 2, we will celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life. Over the years, many men and women have chosen to live out their baptismal vocation by professing the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, including Sr. Maria Faustina. She attended this school and is serving as a Sister of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Please pray for Sr. Maria Faustina and the consecrated in our world and ask God to bless our Church with others who will dedicate their lives to his service.

Resources:

Bulletin Board

Consider buying a poster for each classroom in your parish, whether that is a school classroom, religious education classroom, or meeting spaces. Another great place to put these posters is above the water fountain because every child will see it. Inspire and educate the kids in any way possible!

 

Resources: 

Saint John Paul II Vocations Poster

Available on vianneyvocations.com for $4 each

 

God, the Father of Mercies Poster

Available on vianneyvocations.com for $4 each

 

Vocations Vocabulary

Vocations Vocabulary Poster (JPG)

Vocations Curriculum

So many students hear about vocations only one time a year during a discussion of the sacraments. A more effective way to reach students is to allow them to explore information about vocations regularly. Students can learn about the priesthood, consecrated life, and marriage more thoroughly through the various vocation curricula options. Some of these can be purchased by a diocese or school, and others are free for all to use. Decide how you can sprinkle in age-appropriate lessons about vocations throughout the year.

Resources: 

K-4- FREE

Cultivating the Virtues | God Gives the Growth is a video series by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. Each virtue unit, taught by a Sister, is divided into four distinct lessons with videos, worksheets, and activities.

View Cultivating the Virtues

 

K-8 – FREE

USCCB Lessons for National Vocation Awareness Week offers two lessons about vocations for each grade grouping. The lessons offer materials and procedures.

View USCCB Lessons

 

K-12 – FREE

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles have produced a top-quality vocation curriculum with five lessons. Materials for each grade grouping include lesson plan, charts, videos and more.

View Carmelite Sisters Lessons

 

6-12 -FREE

Vocations Outreach and Outreach of Franciscan University of Steubenville has created adaptable lessons using their Day in the Life series of videos, Photo Gallery, Vocation Story Collection, and Answers from Religious Video Series.

View Franciscan University Lessons

 

K-12 – PAID SUBSCRIPTION

Vianney Vocations designed a curriculum Vocation Lessons that inspires Catholic students to appreciate each vocation and become open to God’s will. Lessons are geared toward each grade and can be accessed online or in print. https://www.vocationlessons.com/

Design a Priest/Sister

Encourage students, especially young children, to use their imagination and creativity to design what a priest or sister might look like. Students may see themselves in this vocation through this activity. They can start from scratch or use a template to design the priest or sister or just their habit, clerics, or vestments.

Notes:

  • Around the drawing, write words describing some attributes a priest or sister may have, e.g., kindness, caring.

Discerner’s Packet

We know there are youth at every parish discerning their vocation, but most do not have the information needed to make informed choices during this time. A Vocation Ministry can easily help by placing this information at their fingertips in the church book rack, website, or youth room.

Notes: 

A Discerner’s Packet includes the following information:

  • Steps of Discernment
  • Prayers for Discernment
  • Book and Website References

Take note to receive permission before giving out email addresses or phone numbers of anyone listed in the packet, especially priests and religious.

Resources: 

Discerner’s Packet (Word)

Display Seminarian Poster

Displaying the diocesan seminarian poster in prominent places in the school and possibly in the religion classrooms tells students and families that the school is serious about vocations. Seeing these men’s faces should inspire young people to think about vocations—their vocation and possibly what life is like in the seminary.

Resources:

Contact the Office of Vocations in your diocese to obtain posters.

Newman Connection
Group of college-age students standing with their arms linked.

Almost 80% of college students stop practicing their faith at some point during college, with only 15% seeking a college campus ministry on their own. To help more students become involved in campus ministry, the Newman Connection offers a simple solution. First, this program gathers graduating seniors’ names, the college of choice, and its location. Then, the Newman Connection passes along these names to the campus ministers at the respective universities. Finally, they provide individual students with the campus minister’s contact information and other details to help them get involved once they arrive on campus. In this way, the student and campus minister have an excellent opportunity to connect. A high school vocation ministry and high school campus minister have a clear and straightforward motivation to keep older teens and young adults practicing their faith. The more they go to church and participate in college campus ministry, the more they are open to hearing God’s call.

Notes:

  • Consider hosting a meal for all high school seniors, where the ministry can celebrate the seniors and acquire their college choices.

Resources:

Link for more information and to enter in college destination and student contact information:
http://www.newmanconnection.com

Vocation Testimony

Every priest has a story to tell about how he came to know he was called to be a priest. Most of these stories do not include a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary or God speaking directly to them, but instead, they felt a stirring in their hearts and a love for the sacraments. Since the majority of priests heard the call between birth and 22 years of age, it is imperative that the students, no matter their age, hear their priest’s story. They need to hear that the priest was a normal student, who played in the band or some sport and loved hanging out with friends just like the current students do. They need to relate to the priest and his story to possibly see themselves also saying Yes to God. This can be during a homily at the all-school Mass or when a priest visits the classroom. Whenever the opportunity arises ask a priest to share how he knew God was calling him to be a priest of Jesus Christ.

Notes:

  • Each person who has said “Yes” has a vocation testimony. This activity is applicable to married couples, religious sisters and brothers, and consecrated men and women.

Testimonies:

The Chosen Final

1:00 (all ages)

Heroic Priesthood

11:45 (6th & up)

Priesthood

1:17 (6th & up)

 

Promotional Materials

A ministry should use every opportunity to educate children about vocations. Promotional materials, such as a priest cut out or plush bear with the message “Pray for Vocations,” can bring joy and inspiration to young and old alike. These materials make great conversation starters, too. One day, a priest was driving behind a car with a “We Love Our Priests!” bumper sticker on it. When he stopped at the next light, he ran up to the driver’s window and said, “I love your bumper sticker! Thank you!” You never know who may see a poster, button, or bumper sticker! These materials, that are excellent for the bulletin board, are all visible ways to encourage students to think about vocations

Resources: 

God, the Father of Mercies Poster

Available on vianneyvocations.com for $4 each

Saint John Paul II Vocations Poster

Available on vianneyvocations.com for $4 each

Vocations Vocabulary

Vocations Vocabulary Poster (JPG)

Promotional Materials

Give away these promotional items at your festival table or Vocations Fish Fry, Pancake Breakfast, or any gathering of parishioners. The t-shirts, magnets, buttons, and/or bumper stickers are a great way to garner support for your priest on Priesthood Sunday. The Cutouts of the Sister/Priest/Religious Priest or Brother are a kid magnet at any gathering.

Science Posters 

Word on Fire has created Catholic scientist posters to hang in your classroom. These posters feature famous luminaries Fr. Georges Lemaître (formulator of the Big Bang theory), Fr. Gregor Mendel (father of modern genetics), and Sr. Mary Kenneth Keller (pioneer of computer science.)

 

Reading Materials

The classroom area where magazines and books are displayed gets passed hundreds of times during an average week. Placing books and materials here promoting holiness can bring vocation awareness to students passively and cost-effectively. These materials should inspire youth to think about some aspect of vocations. The books or brochures may be about various topics: saints’ lives, how to pray a rosary for vocations, discernment, or about what life is like as a religious brother.

Resources:

Toddler

Cloud of Witnesses

Purchase Book

 

The Word of the Lord

Purchase Book

 

What Did Baby Jesus Do?

Purchase Book

 

Many More Books for Toddlers

View Site

 


Pre-Reader

Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration Story Hour presents stories for Pre-Readers.

While the sisters enjoy reading the fun children’s stories, they say that the greater purpose behind the videos is to show young people bits of the convent and aspects of the religious life. Sister Regina commented, “If kids aren’t seeing sisters, they might not think it’s a possibility to give their life to God. Hopefully, that awakens the desire in them to give their life to God, or even just to listen to Him and pray more often or grow in their friendship with Jesus.”

View Storybook Corner

 

The Weight Of A Mass

Purchase Book

 

Our Lady’s Wardrobe

Purchase Book

 

Saint Francis of Assisi

Purchase Book

 

Katie Warner (Books Ages 4-Adults)

Purchase Book

 

Many more pre-readers listed here:

View link

 


Lower Elementary

Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration Story Hour presents stories for Early Readers.

While the sisters enjoy reading the fun children’s stories, they say that the greater purpose behind the videos is to show young people bits of the convent and aspects of the religious life. Sister Regina commented, “If kids aren’t seeing sisters, they might not think it’s a possibility to give their life to God. Hopefully, that awakens the desire in them to give their life to God, or even just to listen to Him and pray more often or grow in their friendship with Jesus.”

View Storybook Corner

 

Once Upon A Time Saints

Purchase Book

 

What Can I Give God?

Purchase Book

 

Stations Of The Cross For Children

Purchase Book

 

Catechism of the Seven Sacraments

Purchase Book

 

More lower elementary books here:

View Link

 


High School/College

ABC’s of Fostering Vocations (PDF)

  • Litany for priests: Simple but incredibly moving litany by The Discalced Nuns of New Caney, Texas, whose mission is to promote prayer for priests.281-399-0270. 1100 Parthenon Place New Caney, TX 77357-3276
  • A Guide to Religious Ministries for Catholic Men and Women: Resource to request vocation material from different religious orders that includes a brief description of each religious order and contact information. $10. 800-433-7771. www.religiousministries.com

To Save A Thousand Souls

Book Cover for To Save A Thousand SoulsFather Brett A. Brannen’s book is the definitive guide for men discerning their vocation, explaining the priesthood, where they are in the discernment process, and the next step in the process. It is now the standard “catechism for discernment” throughout the country, with more than 100 U.S. dioceses ordering it in bulk. It has been translated into Spanish and reprinted in Europe and Asia. Young men affirm that this easy-to-read book answers most of their questions about discerning their vocation, and many seminarians cite its important role in their decision-making process.

Every Vocation Ministry should have copies of this book on hand to present to a young man discerning the priesthood. Furthermore, every ministry member should read the book to gain knowledge of the discernment process for these young men.

To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood is available at Vianney Vocations in English or Spanish.

Discerning Religious Life

I encourage priests to have books like To Save a Thousand Souls on hand to give to those seriously discerning priesthood, and now we have a book for young women who are discerning religious life, too!

Book cover for Discerning Religious Life.Teen girls and young women need truth and guidance while discerning. Sister Clare Mattiass, Vocation Director for the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, has worked with hundreds of young women who felt called to religious life. In her book Discerning Religious Life she gives fresh perspective and insights for today’s youth, explaining with humor and wisdom how to discern with clarity the call of Jesus to become His bride. Make sure to have copies on hand at your church to give to those seriously discerning a call to consecrated life. If you are looking for bite-sized portions of these books for your church book rack, check out the booklets Discerning Priesthood and Is This A Call?

Available at Vianney Vocations

Join in this exciting conversation between Father John Paul and Sister Clare Matthiass, CFR, as they discuss Sister Clare’s new book, Discerning Religious Life, and convey the message of living the Gospel in simplicity according to the ideals of Saint Francis and the how viewers can effectively discern a possible call to religious life.

A Living Sacrifice

A Living Sacrifice is a comprehensive guide for men who are discerning God’s call. It serves as both an introduction to religious life as well as a comprehensive guide for discerning vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Book cover for A Living Sacrifice.With clear language, engaging examples, and solid theology, the book tackles the big questions: “Should I date while discerning?”  “Should I be a diocesan priest or a religious brother?” “What community should I join?” “What should I expect during formation?” “What is religious life anyway?” and “How do I know for sure if I’m being called?”

Co-author Fr. Benedict Croell has been called the most successful religious vocation director in America, with over 100 men entering his community during his time of service. (He is now assigned to The Angelicum in Rome.)  Co-author Fr. Andrew Hofer oversaw the initial formation of new brothers, and offers both real-life insights and a solid theological foundation. Together, they amass their considerable experience to provide reliable advice during every stage of vocational discernment.

Importantly, A Living Sacrifice includes an overview of most forms of religious life in the U.S., as well as contributions from priests and brothers in many different communities, such as the Franciscans, Jesuits, Holy Cross, Norbertines, and many more. While authored by Dominican priests, the book is deliberately written for men discerning any religious community.

A Living Sacrifice offers a solid alternative to “cyber discernment” by addressing men’s most common questions in a single volume. Perfect to bring into the chapel to spark a heart-to-heart conversation with Christ.

 

Nihil Obstat, Rev. Basil Cole, O.P.

Imprimatur, Rev. Msgr. Charles V. Antonicelli, V.G.

Recommended by Scott Hahn, Curtis Martin, Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Fr. Thomas Nelson, Archbishop Di Noia, Fr. Jeff Eirvin, and many others.

Buy it Here: https://www.vianneyvocations.com/product/a-living-sacrifice/

Social Media

With so many students and their families interacting with their school via social media, consider posting about vocations regularly. Share great vocation stories, inspirational quotes, and more to inspire students and parents alike to be open to God’s will in their lives.

Resources:

Follow and share posts from your diocese, diocesan office of vocations, religious orders in the area, and Vocation Ministry.

Videos Promoting Holiness

Some youth will be inspired by a talk or by praying a rosary with a priest. Others will feel moved by seeing a well-made video highlighting a saint or holiness, in general. For example, many religious sisters were inspired to first think of religious life when they watched The Sound of Music each year with their families. The visuals and musical scores of a dramatic video can imprint strong feelings and stir the view

Resources: 

Toddler

The Saints Stories (Ages 2+)

View video

 

Lower Elementary

The Sound of Music (Ages 3+)

Purchase Video

 

Middle School

The Scarlet and the Black (Ages 12+)

Purchase Video

The War of Vendee (Ages 12+)

Purchase Video

Therese (ages 12+)

Purchase Video

Pope John Paul II (ages 12+)

Purchase Video

Saint John Bosco: Mission To Love (ages 12+)

Purchase Video

Mother Teresa Movie(ages 12+)

Purchase Video

Saint Philip Neri  I Prefer Heaven(ages 12+)

Purchase Video

The Mission (ages 16+)

Purchase Video

 

Vocations Worksheets

There is no reason that learning about vocations must be boring! Educators can use materials that already exist, from coloring pages to worksheets with puzzles and games, to inspire students while learning about vocations.

Resources:

Vocations Worksheet for Kids at various grade levels.

See all the options here from:

 

Design a Priest/Sister

Faith Enrichment

 

Lower Elementary

The Little Way Catholic Virtue Program ( K- 5th Grade)

Visit Site

 

Middle School

Our Lady’s Honor Guard (Ages 12+)

Visit Site

 

Various Levels

The Kennedy Adventures-Practical solutions for Catholic Parents

Visit Site

 

Fathers For Good by The Knights of Columbus

Visit Site

 

Catholic Mom.com

Visit Site

 

J Club

Visit Site

 

Catholic Icing

Visit Site

 

The Troops of Saint George

Visit Site

 

Blue Knights Boys Club (Ages 5+)

Visit Site

 

Little Flowers Girls Club (Ages 5+)

Visit Site

 

Pilgrims of the Holy Family

Visit Site

AFFIRMATION

Card/Note to Affirm Marriage

Affirming married couples has various purposes. Yes, married couples need to be uplifted from time to time by others. Also, by affirming a married couple who inspires them, children can gradually understand that marriage is something beautiful, good, and worthy of aspiration. Something as simple as a child drawing a card for their grandparents’ anniversary or students writing a note of thanks to a married couple they admire can leave a lasting impression on both parties.

Notes:

  • Consider adding Spiritual Bouquets to the card.

Cards and Treats for Priests/Sisters

Training youth and young adults to show appreciation for the priest and sister’s role in their spiritual lives is an easy but impactful way to affirm them. Students should identify those priests and sisters who inspire them and plan to celebrate them. A simple gesture of kindness and gratitude can make a significant impression.

Notes:

  • Consider adding Spiritual Bouquets to the card.

Ideas:

  • Greeting card – You can find a wide variety of cards at: The Printery House
  • Restaurant gift card
  • Favorite candy
  • Bookstore gift card
  • Dear Father: A Message of Love for Priests by Catherine De Hueck Doherty. Buy it here at Amazon.com
  • In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart — The Journal of a Priest at Prayer. Buy it here at Amazon.com
  • Theater gift card
  • Thank You Card for Priests – When you want to say thank you to the special priests in your life, order this pack of 5 cards that are perfect for ordination or a simple thank you.
    Ordination Thank You card
  • Framed Art – The perfect gift for the newly ordained, a priest as they celebrate their ordination anniversary, or any priest for that matter! $20.00 framed. 5×7 – Two colors available, gold embossed. Purchase framed artFramed art for priests

Celebrate Wedding Anniversary with Family

Allowing children to participate in their parents’ anniversary celebrations can leave a lasting impression. A homeschooling family spends more time with each other than most families. It may be tempting for parents to leave their children at home as they celebrate their anniversary. Instead, as often as possible, allow your children to celebrate your marriage, too. Maybe they can even cook the meal for you or specially decorate the house. Encourage each child to contribute.

Notes:

  • Add Mass to any celebratory occasion with possibly a blessing for the married couple.
  • If the family is in a homeschool co-op, then yearly, allow the children to affirm their parents with a party or special gathering.

Get to Know Your Priest Questionnaire

Whether a priest has been a chaplain or parochial vicar of the school for one, 10, or 20 years, the majority of students will not be able to say they know him well. Ask your priest to fill out the Get to Know Your Priest Questionnaire to find out his birthday, hobbies, favorite candy, and more. With this basic information, a ministry can utilize his responses in various ways to bring a new understanding of the priest to youth and their parents.

Notes:

Sample questions:

  • When is your birthday?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What did your parents do?
  • How many siblings do you have?
  • What is your birth order in the family?
  • What was your favorite book as a child?
  • Who taught you your faith?
  • In which church ministries (such as youth ministry, altar serving) were you involved?
  • Who is your favorite saint(s)?
  • At what age did you start discerning the priesthood?
  • What attracted you to the priesthood?
  • When is your ordination anniversary?
  • When is your anniversary with our parish/school?
  • What is your favorite church hymn?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • What is your favorite sport and/or professional sports team?
  • What is your favorite candy?
  • What three words would you use to describe yourself?
  • How tall are you?
  • What type of music do you like to listen to?
  • What part of the country do you enjoy most when vacationing?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What are some of your favorite books?
  • What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

This questionnaire can be adapted for religious, as well.

Consider sharing one question and answer each week in the newsletter or all of them in a unique way at the next reception for a birthday, ordination anniversary, or anniversary at the parish/school.

Invite someone to interview the priest, using these questions and others, and type up his responses.

Resources: 

Questions to Ask Your Priest (Word)

Questions to Ask Your Priest (PDF)