Worn out shoes

On “Vocations Sunday,” or the annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the institutional church prays for an increase in vocations to the priesthood. 

Women are standing on the “prophetic edge” of the church, denied the opportunity to stand in roles of meaningful leadership or ordained ministry. They have worn out their shoes walking the walk of service and ministry to a church that refuses to recognize their contributions and their callings. 

Take action with WOC this Vocations Sunday

On April 30th we will call on the Catholic church to notice those whose footprints are missing as they walk the synodal path. We bear the shoes of women who have gone the extra mile for the church, only to find the door to meaningful leadership and decision-making closed.

Catholic women are called by God: called to renewed priesthood; called to equality; called to full participation in the leadership of the church. We know these women, we are these women, and we walk with these women. 

We invite you to join our efforts. Inspired by “Pink Shoes into the Vatican” witnesses in New Zealand, we’ll be WOC-ing the walk for equality by using the symbol of empty shoes to offer a visual representation of vocations unanswered, those who have walked away, and those walk the prophetic edge of the church, longing for full equality for all of its members.

Download the toolkit

How can I participate? 

  • Take a photo of your shoes with a Vocations Sunday message. You might want to bring them to your local church, or stage them outside in nature. Share the photo on social media using #OrdainWomen or send it to WOC at woc@womensordination.org by April 26. 
  • Share your “Vocations Sunday” message to the church, and help us collect other stories using this form.
  • Pray for an inclusive Vocations Sunday using our prayer resources and liturgy.
  • Organize a witness in your community. Download the toolkit, liturgy, and social media resources here. 

Download the toolkit

Join an event on April 30 near you: 

United States:

  • Denver, CO: 
    9:30 a.m.
    Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
    1530 Logan Street, Denver
    Contact Katie at klacz@womensordination.org for more information or to RSVP.
  • Evanston, IL*
    *This is a public lecture taking place on Vocations Sunday. 
    3rd Session of Women in the Church: Past, Present, Future (Download the flyer)
    11:30 a.m.
    Oldershaw Hall at St. John XXIII Parish (building west of the church)
    1108 Washington St., Evanston

    During this presentation hosted by Equality for Women in the Church, Professor Mary Anne Case, the Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, will examine the deeply problematic theological justification for a male-only priesthood and the theory of gender complementarity. 

    Please direct questions about the event to catholicwomensequality@gmail.com.
  • Long Beach, CA
    9:00 to 9:30 a.m.
    St Bartholomew’s
    252 Granada Ave, Long Beach
    We encourage people to bring shoes to lay at the entrance of the church and pass out info. Contact Jen at jomalley72@gmail.com for more information or to RSVP.
  • Rochester, NY: 
    Blessed Sacrament Church
    534 Oxford St., Rochester
    Two shifts:
    • 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. (Mass is at 9 a.m.)
    • 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (Mass is at noon)

      Participants are encouraged to wear purple stoles or scarves. Contact Marilu at maguilar9855@yahoo.com for information or to RSVP. 
  • Washington, D.C.:
    4 p.m.
    Mass on Mass en Masse!
    35th and Fulton Streets NW along Mass. Ave

    Come celebrate Vocations Sunday at WHIMM’s semi-annual Mass on Mass en Masse. On the church’s annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations, WHIMM (Washington Home Inclusive Monthly Mass) will gather in a beautiful triangle park along Massachusetts Avenue to make visible women’s call to Catholic priesthood with presider Rev. Barbara Beadles, RCWP. Following the Mass, we will walk two blocks down to the Vatican Embassy to offer prayers and shoes, which we will leave there along the fence as a sign of the women who stand on the “prophetic edge” of the church.

    Please bring a pair or pairs of shoes (pink or not) to Mass and we will bless them and write and tie notes to them telling the stories of people who have walked away from the church, walked alongside it, or stood their ground inside the church to create more inclusive worship spaces for all people.

    For more information or to RSVP, contact Jane at whimmdc@gmail.com
  • Wheaton, IL: 
    Pink Shoes Into the Vatican: A Vocations Sunday Prayer Service (Download the flyer)
    Prayer Service from 3-4 p.m., Shoe Display from 12-5 p.m.
    Adams Park 
    303 W Wesley Street, Wheaton 
    For more details or to RSVP, contact Julia at julialouisemorrow@gmail.com.


  • London: 
    10:30 a.m. – noon
    Westminster Cathedral Piazza
    Victoria St., London
    Contact Catholic Women’s Ordination (UK) at cwoinfo5@gmail.com with any questions.