By Olivia Bunter
In November 2018, the Archdiocese of Melbourne launched the “Pledge to Pray” initiative.
Set up as an online community, the Archdiocese’s aim is to encourage those within parishes to pray for young people, faith and vocational discernment nationwide.
The goal is to have 1000 pledges in time for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival at the end of this year.
The inspiration behind the program came from the concept of an “Invisible Monastery” for prayer vocations, which is used in other places around the world, particularly in the United States of America.
Christian Diez, the Pledge to Pray Communications Officer, said there have been 57 pledges since the inception of the initiative.
“These pledges have come from the various dioceses within Australia,” he said.
“Prayer is the necessary first step to anything, and especially with vocations. It is the Lord who does the calling, and prayer helps to amplify that call and to engage the community in the work of vocations.”
Mr Diez commented that the hope for the program is to promote the website so that people can spiritually prepare for ACYF as well as spiritually support young people in the lead up to the event.
“No efforts of prayer will be in vain.”
Somascan Br Sheldon Burke said Pledge to Pray is a venture started up by young adults for young adults, who see the real need for prayer in a world that seems to be increasingly secular.
“The initiative is such a fantastic way to encourage young people to feel like they can do something for the Church in Australia and the world, by feeling a sense of belonging to the Body of Christ,” Br Sheldon said.
“After using Pledge to Pray, I felt that I really had a role to play, along with everyone else because we are all part of the mystical body of Christ, His Church. We all have a role to play!
“At the same time, I felt a sense of accountability, because it was a pledge and it was visible for all people to see. It’s a beautiful way for young people to become co-operants in God’s Will, through the power of prayer,” he said.
To date, contributions have come from 7 states, 11 dioceses and 49 parishes with a total of 57 prayers.
To read the pledges or to make a pledge, Click Here