Sunday, April 29, 2007
~from Pope Benedict's Regina Cæli message today at St. Peter's. Translated by Papa Ratzinger Forum.
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Today, the fourth Sunday of Easter, Sunday of the Good Shepherd, also marks the annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations. All the faithful are exhorted to pray specially for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.
This morning, at St. Peter's Basilica, I had the joy of ordaining 22 new priests. Even as I greet these new priests affectionately, along with their families and friends, I invite you to remember how the Lord continues to call by name - as He did one day on the banks of the Lake of Galilee, that they may become 'fishers of men' - on His most direct collaborators in the proclamation of the Gospel and in the service of the Kingdom of God in our time.
Let us ask for all priests the gift of perseverance: that they may keep themselves faithful to praying, that they may celebrate the Holy Mass with ever renewed devotion, that they may live in watchful listening to the Word of the Lord, and that they may assimilate day after day the feelings and attitudes of the Good Shepherd.
Let us also pray for those who are preparing for priesthood and for their educators in the seminaries of Rome, Italy and the entire world. Let us pray for families so that in them, the 'seed' of vocation for the priesthood may continue to bud and mature.
This year, the theme of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is "Vocation in the service of the Church communion". The Second Vatican Council, in order to present the mystery of the Church in our time, has given a privileged place to the category of 'communion.'
This perspective highlights the rich variety of gifts and ministries among the people of God. All those who have been baptized are called on to contribute to the work of salvation....
... At the heart of the Church communion is the Eucharist. The different vocations draw from this Sacrament the spiritual force to constantly edify in charity the one ecclesial Body.