Invititation to join us in prayer for vocations to the Oblate way of life Novena for Vocations, 21st-29thof May 2021
Vocations Novena 21st-29th of May 2021 – a time for the Oblate family to pray together in thanksgiving for vocations; past, present and future
The annual Novena for Oblate Vocations is fast approaching! Each year at this time, the Oblate family throughout the world is praying that ‘the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to the harvest.’ (Mt 9:38)
On behalf of the Vocations Animation Team, may I extend prayerful greetings of solidarity at this unprecedented time in our history. The COVID-19 global pandemic has ruthlessly disturbed every fabric of our daily lives. Each one of us now lives in a time of vulnerability and uncertainty about the future. And yet, in the midst of this precarious time, we have also witnessed the courage and dedication of so many people from all walks of life – most especially those in the health profession – who are compassionately reaching out to those in critical need.
The General Norms for Oblate Formation offer three simple directives to guide us as to how we may approach this time of prayer for Vocations;
The first way is the joy and generosity of our lives. We are constantly called to give witness to a life dedicated to the mission and shared with each other as brothers. In spite of its difficulties, such a life generates and manifests the deep joy that pervades our being. It is, in fact, this joy in our commitment and in our service to God’s people that is of prime importance.
The second consists in making known the needs of the Church and the world and how the Congregation responds to them. Our Founder perceived the needs of the Church in his time and responded to them, inviting others to join him in his mission. His example is the pattern of our own approach and efforts, as we invite others to join us in responding to the Church’s needs today. The clearest invitation we give is through our life and our apostolate that is unmistakably “Oblate”.
The third way of exercising the vocation ministry is to pray as Jesus requested (Matthew 9:38). Since a vocation to the priesthood and to the religious life is essentially a gift from God, we must ask for it in prayer, both in our contemplation and in our intercessions.
(4.2 General Norms for Oblate Formation, 2011)
In addition to these helpful guides, I have also attached a PDF of the novena prayer booklet which was sent out last year as a hard copy for our personal and community use. Finally, our prayer for vocations will also be available in video format on our provincial website and social media channels beginning on 21st May and concluding on 29th May.
Finally, as my term of office as Vocations Director draws to a conclusion, may I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for all the support I received from the province over the last seven years. There is reason too for further cautious optimism as we extend our support and prayers to Carl Lanigan who will soon complete his Pre-Novitiate before entering Novitiate in Marino, Rome.
May I conclude this invitation to our Novena with the encouraging words of Pope Francis on the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations;
‘I am conscious of your hard work, the sense of isolation that can at times weigh upon your hearts, the risk of falling into a rut that can gradually make the ardent flame of our vocation die down, the burden of the uncertainty and insecurity of the times, and worry about the future. Take heart, do not be afraid! Jesus is at our side, and if we acknowledge him as the one Lord of our lives, he will stretch out his hand, take hold of us and save us.’
Yours in Jesus Christ et Mary Immaculate
John McFadden, OMI
Director of Vocations and Regency Formation
Download the Novena booklet here.
Sign up here for short daily morning prayer videos.
If you are thinking about your future and are interested in the Oblate way of life, please get in touch! Feel free to ask any questions by contacting Fr John at email@example.com
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