By Leslie Ann Aquino
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has asked priests in his archdiocese to make use of the upcoming observance of the 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations to invite the young people to consider the priestly vocation and consecrated life.
“As a local Church, it is a good time to gather and pray for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life as well as to invite and encourage young people to consider this particular way of following and serving the Lord in the Church,” he said in a circular letter dated April 9.
During the Holy Week, Tagle also invited the youth who attended his Mass to enter the seminary.
“To the youth here today, you are already here in Manila. Others discovered their vocation here, and you are already here,” Tagle said.
“Please, young and not so young people of Manila, Pasay, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your ears, the Good News is being told to you. Listen, listen,” he added.
To note, the Year 2018 has been declared by the Catholic Church here in the Philippines as the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated People.
In his circular, His Eminence also urged priests to include in their homilies on April 22 a reflection on vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.
“It may also be an opportune occasion for our communities to hear from their pastors vocation stories and personal testimonies that could inspire people to respond to God’s call to different forms of service in the Church,” Tagle said.
He said petitions for priestly and religious vocations should also be included in the Prayers for the Faithful in all Masses on the said day.
The Prayer for Vocations, he said, should also be recited after the postcommunion prayer on all Masses.
A part of the prayer reads:
“Touch the hearts of our young people
That they may hear the voice of Christ inviting them
To be his friends and disciples.
Inspire in them a joyful and generous response to your invitation.
Grant them courage and vision to serve your people
With the love of the Good Shepherd.”
Parishes were also instructed to hold a special collection on April 22 to support the vocation promotion ministry.
Tagle said the money collected will be remitted to the RCAM Treasury and Accounting Department at the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros.
The cardinal will preside a Mass for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations at the Manila Cathedral on April 15 at 10 a.m.