For 2020, the Holy Father has chosen to celebrate the 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations with four words: "pain, gratitude, encouragement and praise", with the only desire to "thank the priests and support their ministry," explains the Pope.
The sad news for humanity is that if on the one hand the number of the world population increases, on the other the number of priests decreases all over the world, as evidenced by the Central Statistical Office of the Church. The same is true for priesthood candidates around the world. "Contrary to the world average, vocations in Africa and Asia have increased by 14.3% and 11% respectively. In the Americas the number of priests remains unchanged, about 123,000; in Europe and Oceania, the drop is (respectively) above 7% and just over 1%."
The crucial question is: what is going on? Why aren't there more young people who want to take up the challenge of becoming priests? The answer is not easy, but we can glimpse the answer on the other side, that is: What is vocation? The vocation is "to follow Jesus on the way He has planned for us, for our happiness", "to trust in the promise of the Lord", "to be bearers of a promise of good, love and justice," as Pope Francis says.
In various parts of the world, "Vocational" meetings have been held with young people who want to follow Jesus in the style of Don Bosco. This is the case of the Salesian Province of Chile, which on May 3 celebrated the World Day of Prayer for Vocations with the theme "The words of vocation: gratitude, encouragement, courage and hope". At the provincial level, a space for reflection was offered on the vocational dimension of life and on the Salesian educational-pastoral project that helps young people to discover that everyone is invited to listen to the call of the Lord, to discern it and to live it according to a specific project.
From Monday 4 to Saturday 9 May, the significant testimonies of people who listened to and chose a vocation in the Church were shared on various social networks.