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January 25, 2001


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, announced today that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will dedicate the year 2001 to the promotion of vocations to the priesthood. This effort will be known as Philadelphia Priest Call. At a news conference today, Cardinal Bevilacqua said, "We have always been blessed with a good number of vocations in our archdiocese. Yet, our needs are always great. The number of Catholics continues to increase. We are not in crisis at this time. But it's important that we take steps to avoid one. The world offers so many vocational choices nowadays. Young men today may not even consider a priestly vocation. Philadelphia Priest Call will try to change that."

Philadelphia Priest Call will consist of both grass roots and media efforts. In an effort to reach as many men as possible, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will air television and radio messages that promote priestly vocations and will publish advertisements in major Philadelphia area newspapers as well as college newspapers. Billboards throughout the five-county area of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are in place and there is also an emphasis on the internet. All advertising will include the web address
"Many people think that identifying prospective vocations is solely the job of the priest. This is simply not true. We are asking teachers, parents, parishioners, co-workers, and family members to look at a young man they know and ask the question, ‘would he make a good priest?'" said Cardinal Bevilacqua.

In August and September 2001 parishioners will be invited to identify any men they think might be called to the priesthood. On November 3, 2001 potential candidates will be invited to accompany a priest as he performs his typical daily duties in a one day program called Follow In His Footsteps. This will take place on November 3, 2001. At approximately the same time, seminarians and priests will share the story of their vocation with parishioners.

Some other grass roots efforts to promote vocations to the diocesan priesthood include:

daily vocation prayers in grades one through eight in parish elementary schools
speakers available for Home and School groups and other parish organizations
petitions at weekly parish Masses
family prayers for vocations as icon of the Sacred Heart travels from family to family in each parish for one week at a time
parishes and schools encouraged to hold "Vocation Day"
vocation representatives to be named in each parish
visits to elementary and high schools by seminarians


Donna Crilley
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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