Celebrating the World Day of Prayer for Vocations (WDPV) in its 50th year was quite overwhelming. This is a very important occasion for each member of the religious family to whom I belong, praying for vocations in the church. What is even more beautiful is that the whole church celebrates it just as Fr. Founder St. Hannibal Mary dreamed for it to happen: that the prayer for vocations will be universal.
On 20 April 2013, together with some of our sisters and my co-postulants, we joined the vocation Jamboree held at the Rogationists College Silang Cavite in the Philippines. It was a whole-day celebration. There, I saw many different faces of the religious sisters, brothers, priests from different congregations, lay collaborators, and married couples. There were also many youth. I was truly amazed to see those faces, some of them I may say are fruits of Rogate. “Oh! Vocations of life!” I uttered silently.
A Canosian sister sitting beside me inquired after my name and from what congregation I belonged. “I am a postulant of the FDZ,” I quipped proudly. She then exclaimed, “Oh, it’s your feast day today!” and my smile widened. I was overwhelmed by the thought that the whole church, in the whole world, celebrates a very significant act of prayer, imploring the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest. I felt I connected to the whole church in the whole world. With this in my thoughts I thanked God for being part of this pious institute whose main reason of existence is to make the heart of Jesus’ concerns their concern in answering to the command of Jesus himself to meet the needs of the church and of the society in the whole world…the need of holy and zealous ministers of the Lord of the harvest.
The celebration was filled with inspirational talks and animations. The animations were led by the RCJ seminarians. There was the vocation catechism of the Most Rev. Bishop Vergarra, bishop of Pasig, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, group sharing, the exposition of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the talk of the Provincial Superior of the Rogationists, Fr. Herman Abcede and the celebration was ended with the beautiful act of veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was indeed a Blessed day, a day of thanking the Lord in a special way for unceasingly sending many workers in the church. A day where the whole church in the whole world implored from Him more and holy vocations into His church – particularly, the priestly and religious vocations.