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National Vocation Awareness Week

The Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week on November 7-13, 2021. Dioceses across the U.S., including here in Maine, will hold events to foster an appreciation for all vocations and pray specifically for those discerning a vocation to ordained ministry and consecrated life.

In his message for the 58th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis offered St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, as a model for vocational discernment. “Amid all these upheavals, [St. Joseph] found the courage to follow God’s will. So too in a vocation: God’s call always urges us to take a first step, to give ourselves, to press forward. There can be no faith without risk. Only by abandoning ourselves confidently to grace, setting aside our own programmes and comforts, can we truly say “yes” to God,” he said, and exhorted the Church to look to St. Joseph as an “outstanding example of acceptance of God’s plans.”

For more information about discerning a vocation, visit this special section on the Diocese of Portland’s Office of Vocations website. The section features a variety of helpful resources including information about the life of a priest in Maine, the path to the priesthood, the history of the presbyterate in Maine, vocation stories, answers to frequently asked questions, and ways to get in touch with Fr. Greg Dube, director of vocations and seminarians for the Diocese of Portland. Many additional resources can be found below. 

Vocation Awareness Week Events in Maine

Tuesday, November 9

Holy Hour for Vocation Awareness in Bangor

Wednesday, November 10

Holy Hour for Vocation Awareness in Caribou

Friday, November 12

Holy Hour for Vocation Awareness in Saco

Saturday, November 13

Men's Conference with Bishop Deeley and Fr. Larry Richards in Brunswick

Vocation Awareness Week Prayer

God our Father,

we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons, and consecrated persons.

Send your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to your call.

Send workers into your great harvest that the Gospel may be preached to every creature.

Bless your people, gathered together by the word of life and strengthened by the power of the sacraments, may advance in the way of salvation and love.

May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth and young adults.

We pray, Heavenly Father, that our children will discover and respond enthusiastically to your desire for them whether it be to the vocation of single, married, ordained, or consecrated life.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Vocation Awareness Week Message from Bishop Deeley

National Vocation Awareness Week reminds us that the encouragement and formation of vocations in the Church is a responsibility of all of us. Families, communities, and parishes must help our young people to hear the call that God gives to serve the Church.

What is your experience of God’s love in your life? Does the conviction of God’s care for you bring you joy? When we find something that is good, we naturally want to share it. How do you want to share your experience of God, your friendship with Jesus with others? What, then, is God calling you to? Jesus chose and continues to choose human persons whose lives were not perfect to carry on his message and make it known to others. What each is able to do is trust that the Lord is with them. When we see young people who show signs of love for the Eucharist and a desire to serve others, invite them to pray about what God could be telling them to do with their lives.

I encourage you, whether you are a parent, priest, parishioner, or member of a religious community, to invite someone you know to consider a religious vocation. We all have a vocation, a call from God to live out our lives in a particular way. In helping our young people realize their particular call, we might also ask God to assist us in living better the call he has given us so that we might better serve him by the example of our lives.

Pray that discerners trust that the Lord is with them and in so doing, place their hope with him by living his will.

Vocation Awareness Week and Vocation Resources

Prayers for Vocations

Prayers for Vocations (Spanish) 

Holy Hours for Vocations

Vocation Resources for Families and Educators

Message from Bishop Deeley for the 2021 World Day of Prayer for Vocations 

Message from Bishop Deeley for the 2021 World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

Fr. Alex Boucher Ordained as Priest in Biddeford 

Rite of Candidacy for Four Diocese of Portland Seminarians 

Holy Cross Students Honor Religious Vocations

Seminarians of the Diocese of Portland 

Recommended Reading List for Discerners

Vocation Discernment Tips

Information on Different Forms of Consecrated Life in the Catholic Church

The National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States 

Hispanic Vocations

Serra USA

National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors

National Religious Vocation Conference

Religious Life Today (National Religious Vocations Conference)

Infographic on Recent Vocations to Religious Life 

Study on Recent Vocations to Religious Life