.- Shortly after ordaining 22 men from the diocese of Rome to the priesthood, Pope Benedict XVI charged the throngs of faithful gathered in St. Peterâs Square for the weekly Regina Coeli prayer to pray for a greater nurturing of priestly vocations within the Church.
The Pope also called for prayer "for those preparing themselves for the priestly ministry, and for formators in the seminaries of Rome, Italy and the entire world.â
Similarly, he prayed for families, âthat in them, the 'seed' of the call to priestly ministry may continue to nurture and ripen."
Sunday marked the 44th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations. This yearâs theme was "vocation to the service of the Church as communion."
On this point, the Pope said that all the baptized "are called to contribute to the work of salvation,â but that âin the Church there are, however, a number of vocations especially dedicated to the service of communion. The person primarily responsible for Catholic communion is the Pope, Peter's Successor and Bishop of Rome. Alongside him, custodians and masters of unity are the bishops, successors of the Apostles, assisted by priests. But consecrated persons and all the faithful are also at the service of communion.â
Concluding his brief address, the Pope said that "In the heart of the Church as communion is the Eucharist: the various vocations all draw from this supreme Sacrament the spiritual strength to build ... the one ecclesial Body."