The Call of the Vincentian Charism: Reflections on the 61st World Day of Prayer for Vocations

by | Apr 21, 2024 | Formation | 0 comments

Find out how the Congregation of the Mission welcomes Pope Francis’ invitation to be “pilgrims of hope” and “builders of peace”, deepening the papal message and praying together for missionaries and vocations.

21 April 2024 marks the celebration of the 61st World Day of Prayer for Vocations, a time of deep reflection and intense prayer for the Mission Congregation. This event not only highlights the gift of vocation in the lives of believers, but also underlines the vital importance of vocations in advancing the mission of the Church, in line with the legacy of St. Vincent de Paul.

Pope’s Message for the Day

In his message for the 61st World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis invites the faithful to be “pilgrims of hope”, emphasising this role as a journey of faith and trust in God in the midst of life’s challenges. Being pilgrims of hope means embarking on a spiritual journey, looking to the future with confidence and allowing oneself to be guided by the light of faith.

Pope Francis says “…we set out on a journey to discover the love of God and at the same time to discover ourselves, thanks to an interior journey nourished by our relationships with others. We are pilgrims because we have been called: called to love God and to love one another.”

Furthermore, the Pope calls the faithful to be “peacemakers”, emphasising the importance of working for reconciliation and harmony in a fragmented world. This role implies an active commitment to justice, mercy and mutual understanding, thus creating the foundation for a more peaceful and united community. Both of these callings are essential for living one’s Christian vocation to the full, actively contributing to the Church’s mission in the world, and excluding none.

“…our loving relationship with God and our brothers and sisters is beginning to bring about God’s dream of unity, peace and fraternity. May no one feel excluded from this calling!”

Theme of the Day: “Creating a Home”

The theme “Creating a Home”, inspired by “Christus vivit, 217”, invites reflection on the creation of welcoming and supportive communities, emphasising the importance of places where young people can feel part of a larger family.

“We need to make all our institutions better equipped to be more welcoming to young people, since so many have a real sense of being orphaned. Here I am not referring to family problems but to something experienced by boys and girls, young people and adults, parents and children alike. To all these orphans-– including perhaps ourselves– communities like a parish or school should offer possibilities for experiencing openness and love, affirmation and growth.”

The Congregation of the Mission, following the example of St Vincent de Paul, is called to be at the forefront of creating these spaces of fraternity, where each person can experience the warmth of a spiritual home. And this refers us, immediately, to our great and ambitious “13 Houses” project, which responds to Pope Francis’ exhortation: To create a “home” is to create “a family”. “It is to learn to feel connected to others by more than merely utilitarian and practical bonds, to be united in such a way as to feel that our life is a bit more human. To create a home is to let prophecy take flesh and make our hours and days less cold, less indifferent and anonymous. It is to create bonds by simple, everyday acts that all of us can perform. A home, as we all know, demands that everyone work together. No one can be indifferent or stand apart, since each is a stone needed to build the home.

The importance of Vocations in the Mission Congregation

Vocations are the beating heart of the Mission Congregation, essential to perpetuate the commitment to the poor and marginalised. Through testimonies of a life lived in fidelity to the Gospel, missionaries inspire others to follow the divine call, thus contributing to the strengthening of the Church’s mission in the world. This is why we like to remember our seminarians who have shared their call with us: like Juan Sebastián Bustamante Caicedo CM or Manuel Victor J. Sapitula CM, like Carlos Francis Diniz CM or Jesús David Coronel CM. Our prayers go out to them because they and the other seminarians are the future of the Congregation.

Let us pray for Vocations

As we read in the Superior General’s Letter “Pilgrims and builders of a vocational culture that fills us with hope” we know that the International Commission for the Pastoral Care of Vocations is at work and is working to bring about a vocational culture that will bring more and more young people closer to the Vincentian charism. In the meantime, let us support our brethren with prayer and ask God to set the hearts of young people on fire with his love, let us pray together:

O Lord, Source of every calling, rekindle in the hearts of young people the fire for Thy mission of love and service, following the example of St. Vincent de Paul.

Guide our steps on the journey of faith, making us pilgrims of hope in a world that yearns for Your light. Give us the grace to be builders of peace, who in word and deed build the kingdom of justice and harmony.

Inspire us to create a home for those who seek refuge, love and understanding, that they may find in us a sign of Thy familiar warmth.

May this arouse in young people the desire to join our mission, carrying forward the Vincentian charism of service to the least and dedication to those in need.

May our prayer be a bridge leading to the full realisation of their vocation in Your vineyard.

Amen.

Girolamo Grammatico
Communication Office
Source: https://cmglobal.org/


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