Seminarians from the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary were among those who took part in the World Day of Prayer for Vocations celebration on May 14.

The need for more people to take up priestly and Religious vocations was stressed at the World Day of Prayer for Vocations celebration recently.

“The future of the Church rests on you and your prayers,” archdiocesan vocation director Fr Alex Chua told some 250 people at the end of the May 14 event at the Church of the Risen Christ.

Seminarians, priesthood aspirants and other laypeople took part in the celebration, which started with an hour-long prayer session. This included adoration of the Blessed Sacrament led by Father Alex, followed by Scripture readings, reflections, intercessions and the singing of hymns.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia highlighted the need for more people to respond to the religious calling during the Mass following the prayer session.

Archdiocesan vocation director Fr Alex Chua

“The whole Church, each baptised person must feel the need to pray for vocations, and to foster them always,” he said.

“In Singapore, we have about 300,000 Catholics including foreigners,” he added. “We have 71 diocescan priests and 60 Religious [priests] ministering to 28 parishes and three churches of devotion.”

He noted that there are presently more than 300 Religious Brothers and Sisters from 14 congregations and “still there’s a need for more.”

“To be more effective in the promotion of vocations, I would like to exhort you to join the Vocation Promotion Teams in your parishes and the Serra Club of our archdiocese,” he said.

Mr Dexter Chua, 27, who is currently discerning whether he has a vocation to the diocesan priesthood, told CatholicNews, “This event gives me courage to answer the call. At the moment, I’m still in the discernment stage.”

“Prayer is really the basis of every vocation,” said Br Jovita Ho, 36, a seminarian at the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary. “Without prayer, there’s no vocation… When you’re in the seminary, God is truly the centre of your life.”

The May 14 celebration was organised by the Diocesan Vocation Committee and St Francis Xavier Major Seminary in collaboration with the Serra Club of Singapore, which promotes priestly vocations.

By Marie Jude Bendiola

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