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Vocation promotion in Bouaké

 

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World Day of Prayer for Vocations

24/05/2014: Côte dIvoire - Photo gallery

The world day of prayer for vocations was celebrated this year on the 11th of May 2014. In the Diocese of Bouaké in Ivory Coast, it began a day earlier during catechism classes in almost all the parishes. Catechumens were enlightened about the various forms of vocations in the Church and encouraged to think about becoming priests or religious one day. The following day (11th of May), all the youths in the vocation groups of the diocese gathered together in the Cathedral for the celebration of this great day. As early as 7am, they began trooping in from various parts of the diocese. The various Religious congregations in the diocese had stands outside the church on which were displayed information about their various charisms. These stands enabled Christians not only to know more about the different congregations and their apostolates in the diocese but also served as a means of vocation promotion. 

The Mass which was beautifully animated started at 9am and the Church was very full with about 3000 Christians present. The Bishop who was unavoidably absent delegated his vicar general, Rev Father Maurice to preside over the mass. In his homily Fr Maurice reminded the Christians about the need for more vocations in the Church for the harvest is great but the labourers are few. Drawing from the Gospel of the day, he said there was a need for more shepherds (Priests and Religious) to lead the flock of Christ. Furthermore, he challenged parents calling on them to encourage their children to think of becoming priests or religious and reminded all faithful present that it is God who calls whom he wants and whom he judges fit. 

Since I had volunteered to give a testimony about my vocation on this day, I was invited just before the final blessing to speak to the Christians. For me it was a unique opportunity not only to tell the Christians about my vocation but also an occasion to let them know more about the Marist Brothers and their mission because people always ask me why Brothers don’t celebrate mass. To this effect, I told the faithful that a Brother is a witness to the Gospel who makes Jesus known and loved through his exemplary life. It is clear to me that the faithful were impressed by my short talk because after mass many among them came to greet me and to thank me for enlightening them. Many more came asking how they could join the Marist Brothers or the Marist family. 

After mass there was a get-together of the Religious and Priests with all the youths in the vocation group. We shared a meal and afterwards there were lots of entertainment; singing, dancing, jokes, storytelling and much more. The day which started well also ended well. Let us therefore pray for more vocations in Ivory Coast and in the world so that one day we will be able to say that the harvest is abundant and the labourers are plentiful as well. 

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Br Cho Nchang Atzi–nwi

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