The 50th World Day of Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and the Consecrated Life will to be held on Sunday 21 April 2013. The day is also called Good Shepherd Sunday which derives from the Gospel reading taken from John’s Gospel in which Christ is called the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep.
The Diocese of Westminster currently has 40 men studying for the Priesthood, the highest number for many years, with four candidates accepted to join in September. On June 29th 2013, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, will ordain eight men as Priests of the Diocese. This is the largest number this millennium.
Fr Richard Nesbitt, Vocations Director for the Diocese of Westminster, said, “This is our chance to pray for, encourage and thank our priests and religious for their lives offered to God and also to pray for those whom God is calling to follow in their footsteps.”
Pope Paul VI instituted this day of worldwide prayer to God the Father, asking him to continue to send workers for his Church (cf. Mt 9:38) in 1963 while the Second Vatican Council was in session. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written that “Vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life are born out of the experience of a personal encounter with Christ, out of sincere and confident dialogue with him, so as to enter into his will.