10th-17th September 2023
Vocations: Shine, Listen & Hope
Every year, the Church in Scotland sets aside a week in which we are all asked to reflect on our vocation within the Christian family, a vocation which flows from our shared Baptismal vocation to grow in holiness and in service of others. In particular, we are asked:
• to pray for a renewed and strengthened sense of vocation among all God’s People;
• to consider what my own vocation is in life and how I might be responding to the call that God has made to me;
• to pray for a generous response in the hearts of those called to serve the Church in priesthood, consecrated life and diaconate;
• to consider – as appropriate to my own stage and situation in life – whether I might not actually be one of those called to be a priest, a religious or a deacon or to encourage someone, whom I think might be showing the signs that they have such a vocation, to consider discerning or pursuing such a call;
• to pray for and offer support and encouragement to our priests, the religious women and men who serve in our communities, the deacons who serve our parishes and dioceses and our seminarians and others in formation or discernment of their vocation in the Church.
In August of this year, Pope Francis joined with 1.5 million young people from all over the world in Lisbon, for the celebration of World Youth Day. In his message to them, he invited them to “Shine”, to “Listen” and to “Hope”: to “shine” with joy, with conviction, and with faith in a world which is often dark and broken; to “listen” to God’s Word, to listen out for his call to them, discern what is being asked of them together and personally in life and to respond to that call with joy; to “hope”, that is to find in God’s love and presence meaning for their lives, to recognise that they have a place and gifts to give to the Church and the world, to be witnesses to hope when things seem difficult or the future seems uncertain or even bleak.
So, this year, our focus for Vocations Awareness Week takes up this message of the Holy Father. We invite reflection and prayer on what it means to let faith shine out, to listen for the call God makes to us and on how our call to be Christians, in whatever specific vocation we live it, is a call to bring hope. But we also reflect on the specific nature of the vocation to serve Christ and the Church in the priesthood, in consecrated life and in the diaconate, ways in which particular people are called to bring Christ’s light, his word and his hope to the Church and to the world. The invitation flows from that to consider whether you or someone you know may in fact have had that call placed within them, to help them hear and respond to it.
Below are some PowerPoint resources which might be useful for upper primary school classes or R.E. classes at the different stages of secondary school (S1-3 and S4-6) and for youth groups during this week:
There are also some Liturgical Resources below to help reflect the themes for Vocations Awareness Week at Mass in parish or school from Sunday 10th to Sunday 17th September 2023: