Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez issued the following statement Nov. 9 regarding National Vocation Awareness Week (Nov. 7-13), an initiative of the U.S. bishops dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew prayers and support for those considering one of these particular vocations.

A list of archdiocesan events for National Vocation Awareness Week can be found here.


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

At the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus formed a group of twelve disciples who would follow him closely. He taught these men and prepared them to serve as the Church’s first priests. Although their names and lives are familiar to us today, the Apostles did not begin their work with fanfare or acclaim. They were ordinary men invited by Jesus to participate in an extraordinary mission.

As we observe National Vocation Awareness Week (Nov. 7–13), I ask all of you to reflect on the importance of priestly vocations to every facet of our local Church’s mission. Fostering vocations to the priesthood must be a priority for all of us if we are to be effective in our proclamation of the Gospel today.

Fundamentally Christ calls men to his priesthood, but that calling is often expressed through human instruments. I am deeply grateful to those already working to promote a culture of vocations within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, especially our priests, seminarians, families, teachers, catechists, and parish vocation committees. By helping our young parishioners and students listen to God’s voice in their lives, you render an invaluable service to the Church.

I strongly encourage any young man discerning a call to the priesthood to reach out to a parish priest or to the Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood ( I can testify that the priesthood is an immensely joyful and rewarding life for those to whom God has called out.

May the Lord raise up humble servants to serve as holy priests in our Archdiocese!

Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia