IN THE WILD: “Prayer For Vocations” spotted

I had a great text cross-country SMS from a colleague in the TMSM this morning at a little church in Shell Lake, WI.  Here is a poster at the parish…


First, I am delighted that they found – note the date of copyright – 2011 – and used the prayer I have been pushing.  My only complaint is dumbing it down a bit, “ask” in place of “beseech”, for example.  That said, Fr. Z kudos to them.  I suspect that someone there found it either at St. Agnes Church in St. Paul (my home parish, where it was/is prayed during all Sunday Masses), or from one of my articles in The Wanderer years ago, or from an old post on this blog.   Alternately, perhaps the former Bishop there, originally from St. Paul, knew of it somehow.

I don’t care where they got it.  Heck… maybe from the original prayer card!

For those of you who don’t know the back story, here is something from one of my posts here, not long ago:


We have to get down on our knees constantly and pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.  Let’s not pray for generic “vocations”, lumping them all together.  No.  We need a public, manifest, constant call for vocations to the priesthood from our own homes and families, not someone else’s.

At the parish where I serve, the pastor and I had cards printed with an old prayer for vocations used at my home parish, where there was on average a First Mass every year.   From now on, at every Sunday and Holy Day Mass, after the Gospel and before the announcements and sermon, everyone will kneel and say this prayer:

LEADER: Please kneel for our prayer for vocations.  Let us ask God to give worthy priests, brothers and sisters to His Holy Church.

ALL: O God, we earnestly beseech Thee to bless this (arch)diocese with many priests, brothers and sisters, who will gladly spend their entire lives to serve Thy Church and to make Thee known and loved.

LEADER: Bless our families. Bless our children.

ALL: Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.

LEADER: Mary, Queen of the Clergy!

ALL: Pray for us. Pray for our priests and religious. Obtain for us many more.

A friend back home – whom I miss rather a lot – sent me one of the original holy cards, which I prize.



Note that key line:

Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.

We had cards made with beautiful artwork on the front and this very prayer on the back.  Soon it will be so much a part of the regular Sunday and Holy Day practice that everyone will know it by heart.  It will ring in the ears of young people and keep the idea of a religious vocations constantly present and active.  I don’t doubt the outcome.

This is an ACTION ITEM.   Fathers, consider implementing this in your parishes.  And don’t junk the prayer up with additions about “married life” or “single life” or “permanent deacons”.  Just leave it as it is.  We’ve done the heavy lifting by already printing the cards if you want to drop a line.

Lay people!  Especially you who are in sound parishes!  Go to your priests with this post and ask them to implement a prayer for vocations to the priesthood.  Keep at them.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. dahveed says:

    In our archdiocese (Cincinnati), this is the prayer used in asking for vocations:

    Prayer for Vocations

    Almighty Father,
    You have created us for some definite purpose. Grant us the grace to know the path
    You have planned for us in this life and to respond with a generous “Yes.”
    Make our archdiocese, parishes, homes and hearts fruitful ground for Your gift of vocations.
    May our young people respond to Your call with courage and zeal.
    Stir among our men a desire and the strength to be good and holy priests.
    Bless us with consecrated religious and those called to a chaste single life, permanent deacons,
    and faithful husbands and wives, who are a sign of Christ’s love for His Church.
    We commend our prayer for vocations to You, Father, through the intercession of Mary our Mother, in the Holy Spirit, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  2. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Definitely more eloquent than the intercession reported by Fr. Charles: “For more – and better – vocations to the priesthood, we pray to the Lord”.

  3. Michael_Haz says:

    My vacation cabin is in Wisconsin’s north woods, in the Diocese of Superior. That vocations prayer is prayed at every Mass, every time. Our “away” parish has a young priest who grew up in Wausau as its pastor, and has a young man currently attending seminary.

    But more prayer is needed! If you look at the Diocese’s directory of priests, some 13 of the 44 priests listed are from other places, primarily Asia.

  4. CCHarvey says:

    The Anglican Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is also using it. We say it after every after every Sunday Mass.

  5. Domnall says:

    As you continue to pray for vocations for your own dioceses, please say a special prayer for vocations for this Diocese of Superior. Our dear Carmelite sisters often only have Mass one time a week due to the shortage. When we went to visit them from our community in Chicago they were overjoyed to have Mass every day since us postulants (at the time) brought a priest with us.

  6. Father:

    You may be pleased to know that the prayer you recommend was already in use when I arrived at this parish three years ago. We don’t use those spiffy cards, however; we have them printed in booklets placed in all the pews, and we pray it before each Sunday Mass, and at the beginning of Thursday exposition.

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