The U.S. bishops’ conference will host its first-ever vocations fair at a World Youth Day in Madrid on August 17.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to invite our youth to open their hearts to Christ and respond to his call to the priesthood and the consecrated life,” said Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, chairman of the bishops’ Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations Committee, which is co-sponsoring the event.
The vocations fair will be held at Madrid’s St. Francis Borgia Parish (Parroquia San Francisco de Borja), located just across the street from the U.S. embassy.
“We are very grateful to the pastor, Father José Antonio Vitón, and to the Jesuit community and parishioners at St. Francis Borgia for allowing us to hold the Vocations Fair at their home,” Archbishop Carlson added.
The fair will begin with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Evening Prayer, led by Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston. The event will continue in the auditorium with featured speakers, opportunities for young people to interact with bishops and other activities.
Speakers include Fr. Robert Barron, university professor and founder of the global ministry “Word on Fire,” and Fr. Joseph O’Connor, vocations director for the Diocese of Syracuse, New York. Christian singer Danielle Rose will speak about discerning religious life, while religious sisters and brothers from different communities and seminarians will also offer personal testimonies.
A chapel will be available for groups and individuals to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.
Social time with bishops will include an ice cream social at 8:30 p.m. World Library Publications and Oregon Catholic Press will provide music for the event, while Salt and Light Television of Canada will film portions of the fair.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana will close the event with Night Prayer and Benediction.