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Philippines church to hold its first National Vocation Festival

First National Vocation Festival poster

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will organize the National Vocation Festival, urging the country's dioceses to promote vocation among young people.

"One of the current priorities is to foster a "Culture of Vocations" in the dioceses. This is also a priority for the first National Vocation Festival," said Fr. Randy de Jesus, CBCP's Episcopal Commission on Vocations Executive Secretary.

According to Fr. de Jesus, the Philippine church must have a 'vocation culture' to guide young people who want to serve the Lord's flock.

The priest, who also serves as the National Coordinator of the Directors of Vocations in the Philippines, announced that the first National Vocation Festival, with the theme 'In the call of the Good Shepherd, let's go on a mission together', will take place on April 27, 2024, at the Rogationist College in Silang, Cavite.

According to Fr. de Jesus, the National Vocation Festival can raise awareness among youth and all citizens about the significance of vocation in the Christian community.

The young people attending the gathering will hear stories from the church's servants around the Philippines.

"The goal is not to count how many will enter the seminaries but to seek many young people to see a good life from the stories of priests, nuns, and lay people who responded to God's call," said Fr. de Jesus.

The National Vocation Festival is one of the featured activities of the National Convention of Vocation Directors and Directresses on the 50th anniversary of the Directors of Vocations in the Philippines.

Fr. de Jesus said that more than 4,000 young people from different dioceses have registered for this gathering on April 27.

The priest then asked the people to continue praying for young people's vocation, particularly in the priesthood, religious life, and the success of the Vocation Festival.

According to the Vatican's Fides news agency, there are 407 thousand priests around the world, which saw a decrease of more than two thousand in 2023. 11,000 priests are in the Philippines. 

This means that for every priest, there are 3,373 Catholics. 

On Good Shepherd Sunday, the church celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and asks the faithful to pray for more vocations to emerge in the church.


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