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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Catholics to observe National Vocation Awareness Week"

Press release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:


WASHINGTON--The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, January 11-17.

"This week is a chance for parishes across the country to highlight the gift of vocations in the church through prayer and education," said Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. "As a church, we recognize the need to safeguard and promote this gift."
Father James Steffes, executive director of the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, added, "The church needs to help young people hear the Lord in prayer, so they can recognize him in their lives.

"This week reminds us that it is our responsibility to pray for vocations and to invite young people to consider a call to ordained ministry and consecrated life."
The observance of National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) began in 1976 when the National Conference of Catholic Bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year as the beginning of NVAW. In 1997, this celebration was moved to coincide with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which falls on January 11 in 2009, marks Jesus' initiation into public ministry. At his baptism Jesus is named the beloved Son of God. With this celebration the faithful recommit themselves to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. They are also initiated through their own baptism to be the Beloved of God, commissioned to proclaim Good News with their lives.

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