Pontifical Work for Spiritual Professions

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The Pontifical Work for Spiritual Professions is one of Pope Pius XII. (1939–1958) founded community for the promotion and support of spiritual professions in the Roman Catholic Church . It is factually and technically assigned to the Congregation for Catholic Education and is headed by the Prefect of this Congregation, currently Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski .


Memorial plaque for the foundation of the women's welfare organization for priestly professions in Freiburg

The first initiative to establish a “prayer community to support the priestly profession” came from the Saxon Princess Maria Immaculata (1904–1940). She was the daughter of Ludwig Gaston of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1870–1942) and Princess Mathilde of Bavaria (1877–1906). On June 12, 1926, a “women's aid organization for priestly professions” was founded in Freiburg . Between the founding and the early 1930s, around 250,000 women had joined the prayer community. In September 1939 the women's welfare organization was banned by the National Socialist rulers. This ban prompted Pope Pius XII. in November 1941 to found the worldwide "Pontifical Work for Priestly Professions (PWP)". In 1955, the “Papal Work for Religious Professions (PWO)” followed. With the merger in 1965 by Paul VI. (1963–1978) the work was given the name "Papal Work for Spiritual Professions (PWB)", which is still valid today.

On May 3, 1951, Serra International , a lay community for the promotion of the spiritual professions, was incorporated.

Pontifical work for spiritual professions in Germany

In 1942, the then Fulda Bishops 'Conference (today the German Bishops' Conference ) decided to set up a PWP office in each diocese . The first place where it was founded, Freiburg, developed into the “center of professional pastoral care”. Today the "Office of the German Bishops' Conference for the Pastoral Care of the Spiritual Professions and Church Services" is located here.

tasks and goals

The work “So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest” serves as the motto of the work ( Mt 9.38  EU ). The aid community is committed to all professions and services of the church, the professional awareness is to be strengthened and the spiritual professions are to be supported. This happens in common prayer. Another area of ​​responsibility is the production and dispatch of circulars . The offer of the work also includes retreats , retreats and pilgrimages . The membership fees are mainly used to support poor candidates for the priesthood . The members agree to occupations of the church to pray, and to the extent possible in the parishes mitzutragen concern for vocations.

Pastoral guidelines

The Congregation for Catholic Education published on March 25, 2012 the “Pastoral Guidelines for Promoting the Vocation to the Priesthood”. In Chapter 13 of this document, the 70th anniversary of the Pontifical Work for Priestly Professions is discussed and the range of tasks is outlined again:

“The Holy See founded the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations 70 years ago with the aim of promoting cooperation between the Holy See and the local Churches with regard to vocations to the ordination office. This institution works to spread the message of the World Day of Prayer for Spiritual Vocations, which the Pope addresses to the whole Church every year. It also has the task of gathering and making known the most important vocational pastoral initiatives that are being undertaken in the local Churches. It organizes conferences on an international level, promotes the implementation of conferences on individual continents and participates there in order to promote synergies between those who are active in vocational ministry. "

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Center for Vocation Pastoral ( Memento from July 21, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Pastoral guidelines for promoting the priesthood ( Memento of April 17, 2014 in the Internet Archive )