The Good Shepherd, detail from the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. Bancel La Farge and Ravenna Mosaic Company, 1926. Geraldine M. Rohling photo/Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, 2011

The Good Shepherd, detail from the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. Bancel La Farge and Ravenna Mosaic Company, 1926. Geraldine M. Rohling photo/Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, 2011

From staff reports

The 2017 World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be observed May 7, also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” This year marks the 54th anniversary of the designation.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website, “the purpose of this day is to publically fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, ‘Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest’ (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2).  Please pray that young men and women hear and respond generously to the Lord’s call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes.”

Echoing the constant prayer of the Church for new vocations, it “affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life,” the website states. While recognizing the importance of all vocations, this day in particular is dedicated to the promotion and prayer for vocations to the ordained priesthood and diaconate, as well as religious life in all its forms – male, female, contemplative and apostolic; societies of apostolic life, secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life.

For resources to promote a culture of vocations, visit www.usccb.org/vocations.