Japanese Manga promoting vocations in the U.K.

.- In anticipation of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations – which the Church celebrates this coming Sunday, the 29th of April, the National Office for Vocation of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales has launched a new vocations program which utilizes Japanese-style "manga" illustrations.

“We have chosen the Manga cartoons for the 2007 campaign, because we hope it will appeal to young people under twenty as well as people in their thirties,” Fr. Paul Embery, Director of the National Office for Vocation, explained to the Italian Religious Service.

“Many of today’s priests and religious people say they first thought of their callings at the age of ten, sometimes even earlier.”

A poster with the cartoons showing the future priests and religious of England and Wales has been distributed in nearly five thousand Catholic churches, schools, and places of prayer around the country a dedicated website will be launched next Sunday (www.calledtoday.com).

The website tells the life of the five real characters with a real story to tell, experiences that will be told live by a priest, two nuns, a monk and a lay man who devoted his life to the Church.

For the occasion, the English Bishops have also published the latest statistics on callings, which see the number of applicant priests constantly rising over the last four years. Today there are 150 seminarians in the dioceses of England and Wales.

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