World Day of Prayer for Vocations

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

April 21, 2024

About World Day of Prayer of Vocations

On this 61st anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, also liturgically known as Good Shepherd Sunday,  we are invited to pray for and promote all vocations.  Initiated by Saint Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council in 1964, the purpose of this day is to help all of us respond to God's call and to support in prayer all those who are discerning how to best respond to the needs of today in the vocation God calls them to be.

Participating in parish life is a way individuals can discern their vocation and receive prayerful support from parishioners. Matter of fact, people in parishes are more likely to encourage someone to discern their vocation than their own family members! Consider connecting with parishes and asking for opportunities to share information and resources about religious vocations. Examples include:

  • Speaking before, during, or after liturgical celebrations.
  • Presenting in youth and young adult religious education classes.
  • Sharing NRVC resources as bulletin inserts. See a list of NRVC resources below.
  • Facilitating communal prayer services on college campuses and spaces where young adults gather.
  • Sharing your favorite vocation discernment prayers or songs.
  • Taking photos of people specifically praying for vocations to post on social media. 
  • Showcasing your Chapel and sacred spaces available for others to join you in praying for vocations. 

Many parishes and religious institutes commemorate this day by praying for vocations and supporting vocation promotion events. Considering that 73 percent of women and men professing final vows participated in one or more parish activities and 88 percent served in one or more parish ministries before entering religious life, our presence and participation in activities that mark this special day are essential.

Of particular note, respondents to the 2020 NRVC/CARA Study of Recent Vocations to Religious Life reported that the day-to-day rhythm of communal prayer is paramount in community life. Below are the types of prayer preferred by newer entrants:

Prayer is essential in all of our lives, join a global effort in praying for vocations on April 21, 2024!

Quotes from the NRVC Focus groups of newer entrants
who entered religious life from 2003-2018

"I think it was the 80-year-old Brothers, the wisdom figures of the community that were always the first in the Chapel and the last at the dining room table. I would always try to get there before them and never could. They were always there and you could count on them." 

"I've noticed in the last ten years that young people seem to have a deeper interest in spirituality and what is their purpose in life. I don't know what brings that change about, I don't know whether it is the Holy Spirit at work, which I'm assuming that it would be, but there does seem to be a different attitude."

"I find most rewarding is our truly deep desire to seek God together and what God is calling us to in this time and place. I also deeply appreciate our prayer that sustains us."

"The most rewarding aspect of religious life is our community living. In community, we pray, live, recreate, and minister together. Our cohesiveness and sense of identity as religious serving others as ministers of the Gospel is wonderful!"

Cultivate within our hearts, minds, and spirits--our very selves--the disposition to fully live out our vocations, which have been planted in our hearts through our baptism,

And grant us the grace to say yes to our call daily, irrespective of how we may feel from moment to moment.

Let us know that we can come to You as we are, wherever we are, and as we accompany those discerning Your call. Help us to hear and

Listen to Your voice amid the various voices vying for our attention so that we may take the right actions that lead to abundant life.

Ignite in us a hope-filled passion for service, using our gifts to bring your Reign to fruition today and always.

Never let us forget that all we have are indeed gifts from You and that we are called to

Give all we are and have in love and service to You in our sisters and brothers. Amen.

Additional Resources

Please note: NRVC members can download these resources in the Member Toolbox as a benefit or

Litany for Vocations Handout

Black Religious Prayer Card

Busy Persons Retreat booklet

I hope You Find prayer card

I Hope You Find prayer card in Spanish

Hearing God's Call: Thirty days of vocation discernment booklet

Listening to the Call prayer cards

Responsibilities of Members for Vocation Ministry Handout

VISION Vocation Network articles on prayer

 Resources offered by the USCCB

Resources offered by Serra International

Rosary for Vocations with the Luminous Mysteries 

Papal Messages for World Day of Prayer for Vocations

This year I would ask you, in your reflection and prayer, to take as your guide the theme “Vocation: Grace and Mission”.  In the course of our lives, this call, which is part of the fiber of our being and the secret of our happiness, comes to us by the work of the Holy Spirit in ever new ways.  It enlightens our minds, strengthens our wills, fills us with amazement and sets our hearts afire.  God’s call, we said, includes a “sending”.  There is no vocation without mission. There is no happiness and full self-realization unless we offer others the new life that we have found.  God’s call to love is an experience that does not allow us to remain silent.  Saint Paul says, “Woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16). 
                 -Pope Francis,  World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 2023

2023 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message

2022 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message

2021 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message

2020 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message

2019 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message

2018 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message

2017 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2016 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2015 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2014 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2013 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2012 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2011 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2010 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2009 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2008 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2007 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.

2006 World Day of Prayer for Vocations Papal message.


Nrvc avatar default

Mrs. Margaret Cartwright

11:22:44 - 2022. Apr 13

Love the new prayers thank you

Nrvc avatar default

Sr. Anne Marie O'Sullivan P.B.V.M.

19:17:48 - 2021. Apr 19

Lovely Prayers Much appreciated Ann-Marie

Leave a comment

Please Log-in to comment this article

National Catholic Sisters Week ...
Find several resources to celebrate and promote the vocation of Catholic ...  More
Talk it Up Tuesdays! ...
"Talk it up Tuesdays," is back throughout February and March. These ...  More
HORIZON Winter 2024 ...
Experienced vocation directors share ways they maintain a sense of balance ...  More
Summer Institute ...
Join us for any of the five workshops offered on-site at ...  More
Religious Brothers Day ...
Religious Brothers Day is held annually on May 1, the feast ...  More
Annual Profession Class Report is ...
Read this report to learn more about the 144 women and ...  More

NRVC Member Areas

Click here to locate members of the NRVC in your Member Area.


Talk it Up Tuesdays

Feb 13 - March 26,

Learn more...

Catholic Sisters Week

March 8-14,

Learn more...

Synodal Consultation with NRVC and RFC

March 20,

Register for this Zoom event

National Office Closed

March 28-29,

Holy Thursday/Good Friday

Member Area Gathering - International

April 9,

via Zoom

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

April 21,

Plan now

Member Area Gathering - Mid-Atlantic

April 30,

Washington DC/hybrid

Member Area Gathering - Heartland

April 30 - May 2,

Atchinson, KS

Religious Brothers Day

May 1,

Plan ahead...

Member Area Gathering - Pacific Northwest

April 30 - May 2,


Renew your NRVC membership