Vatican City, Nov 25, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Pope John Paul II called on the Church in the United States to establish a National Day of Prayer for Vocations today in addressing a group of North American bishops, who were in Rome for their Ad Limina visit.
Bishops must be concerned about providing for the future, he told the bishops of the dioceses of Dubuque, Kansas City, Omaha and St. Louis.
"No one can deny that the decline in priestly vocations represents a stark challenge for the Church in the United States, and one that cannot be ignored or put off,” the pontiff told them. “The response to this challenge must be insistent prayer, according to the Lord's command.
“I would propose for your consideration that the Catholic community in your country annually set aside a national day of prayer for priestly vocations,” he said.