Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
As the Church marks the 58th World Day of Vocations on Sunday, April 25, the office of Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) under the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has appealed to people of good will for support towards formation houses.
“In our dream for authentic vocations, we need to journey with all persons in the vocation team through our constant prayers and material support so that they can undertake the programs faithfully and with love,” The PMS National Director Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio said in a statement dated Monday, April 12.
He added in his appeal, “We request all people of God to pray for vocations during this month of April, and on 25th April 2021 to donate generously towards the work of St. Peter the Apostle, the Pontifical office that is charged with the responsibility of assisting formation houses in the Church including seminaries and novitiates in mission territories.”
The PMS Director noted that the Church could not realize its annual collection last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world and restricts even Eucharistic celebrations.
“In 2020 the Society which derives her income from the generous donations made by the faithful on Vocation Sunday also known as Good Shepherd Sunday was not able to meet the intended target due to the restrictions that were imposed worldwide because of Coronavirus pandemic,” Fr. Luchidio disclosed.
In the communiqué addressed to the bishops, clergy, Religious and the lay faithful, the PMS Director further noted that Pope Francis acknowledges that vocation promotion “is key to authentic witness,” and that through formation programs “candidates are able to make decisions to serve the people of God with dedication, diligence and love.”
In his message for 2021 World Day of Vocations, Pope Francis highlights that St. Joseph the spouse of the Virgin Mary whom he terms as “the dream of vocation” is the protector of vocations in the Church.
“I like to think, then, of Saint Joseph, the protector of Jesus and of the Church, as the protector of vocations. In fact, from his willingness to serve comes his concern to protect,” reads part of the Popes message for World Day of Vocations.
Giving reference to the Gospel of Mathew where “Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night,” the Pope writes that St. Joseph’s prompt action reveals “his concern for the good of his family.”
“He wasted no time fretting over things he could not control, in order to give full attention to those entrusted to his care. Such thoughtful concern is the sign of a true vocation, the testimony of a life touched by the love of God,” Pope Francis highlights.
“What a beautiful example of Christian life we give when we refuse to pursue our ambitions or indulge in our illusions, but instead care for what the Lord has entrusted to us through the Church!” continues Pope Francis.