Priests and religious are essential to the future flourishing of our Church, and the building of the Kingdom of God here on earth. God continues to call people to the vocations of priesthood and religious life, but in our culture today, it’s difficult for people hear and respond to this call. It’s important that we all pray for vocations for our Church and particularly our own diocese. There are 3 main ways that we can pray for vocations:

  1. Pray that God would continue to provide vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
  2. Pray that those that are called to priesthood and religious life would respond to that call.
  3. Pray that we would all follow God’s call in our daily lives.

One way that you are invited to pray for vocations in our diocese of Rockhampton is to pray a novena to St Joseph the Worker for vocations.

You can access the full text of the Novena here:

You can access a printable version of the Novena here:

What is a Novena?

A novena is a traditional practice of nine days of prayer for a particular purpose or need. The term Novena comes from the Latin word for nine, novem. There is no one specific reason for the number nine, however the number does have some significance. The disciples prayed in the upper room for nine days before Pentecost, Jesus spent nine months in Mary’s womb and died on the ninth hour of Good Friday. Nine also represents incompleteness, as it is one short of ten. Just like the number nine we also are lacking in many ways, which is why we turn to God in intercessory prayer.

Why Pray to St Joseph?

When we pray to saints, we are really looking to their example and asking them to pray for us. In the case of St Joseph he is an excellent example to us for vocations, due to his obedience to God’s will and his special vocation of being a father to Jesus and a husband to Mary. St Joseph also encouraged and supported the vocations of Mary and Jesus, which is why Pope Francis refers to him as the ‘protector of vocations’. Devotion to St Joseph has been encouraged by many popes, and he has even been proclaimed as the Patron of the Universal Church. St Joseph is also the patron of our Cathedral and the diocese.

How to Pray the Novena

The nine days of the Novena are presented here for you. Part of the prayer is the same each day, but each day also has its own unique reflection and prayer. Simply pray through the days of the novena in nine consecutive days. It may be helpful to pick a particular time of the day to pray each day. Find a place where you can focus, and allow yourself to reflect on the words as you say the prayers. The novena can be prayed on any dates, however the ideal date to start the novena is the 23rd of April, so as to finish on the 1st of May, the feast day of St Joseph the Worker.