I was alerted to this very good item on the website of the Diocese of Tulsa.
Bishop Slattery continues to impress.
You will remember his statement after pro-abortion Catholics Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and VP candidate Sen. Biden (D-DE) made their scandalous gafs about the Church’s teaching on life.
You will remember his strong instruction about sacred music.
Now there is this spiritual approach to give support to priests of the diocese.
Potential Spiritual Mothers Join to Pray, Learn About Roles
10/10/2008 – EOC Staff
Nearly three dozen women of all ages will spend the next three months discerning whether God might be calling them to the vocation of spiritual motherhood to the priests of the Diocese of Tulsa. If they believe He has given them this vocation, they will spend the month of January in spiritual formation, deepening their prayer lives in preparation for their blessing by Bishop Edward J. Slattery on Sunday, Feb. 1.
The women who will begin their discernment traveled from across the Diocese on Oct. 7 for a Night of Reflection at Holy Family Cathedral offered by Father Mark Kirby, o.Cist. The focus of the evening’s prayer and reflection was the relationship that exists between Our Lord and his Blessed Mother, who was privileged to share in a unique way in her Son’s paschal Mystery. Father Kirby explained that from the cross, Our Lord, the Eternal High Priest, entrusted his disciple John into Our Lady’s maternal care, even as St. John assumed his new role of priest of the new covenant.
The vocation of a spiritual mother, Father Kirby said, is to sustain and support the Church’s priests in the same way Our Lady loved and supported her divine Son and her adopted sons like St. John. Spiritual motherhood “has nothing to do with doting on or mothering a priest,” Father Kirby said. Rather, a priest’s spiritual mother would offer herself to God, praying in intercession and reparation for him, spending time in Eucharistic Adoration and becoming “a point though which an abundance of God’s graces might flow to bless the priest and sanctify his work.
“This is the vocation being offered to you this evening. It’s not something that should be taken on lightly or without solid preparation.”
The program of spiritual motherhood is part of a Vatican effort proposed by Cardinal Claudio Hummes of the Congregation for the Clergy to draw on the link between the Eucharist and the priesthood – first, by establishing diocesan centers of Eucharistic Adoration and – secondly, by fostering the vocation of spiritual motherhood, in the example of Our Lady. Cistercian Father Mark Kirby gave two notable examples of consecrated feminine souls who lived out the vocation of spiritual motherhood. The first is the most popular saint of the 20th century, St. Therese of Lisieux. The second is the relatively obscure Margaret Mary Mathers, a widow, who offered herself as a spiritual mother for Padre Pio.
In discussing the program’s practical details, Father Kirby said that the women might never know the identity of the priest or seminarian they adopt, but emphasized that the hidden nature of the women’s commitment adds to its power. “Most likely, you will never lay eyes on the priests you are praying into holiness, but I promise you that you will see their faces in Heaven.”
In discerning the question of whether God has given them this vocation, the women will meet with Father Kirby on each of the four Tuesday nights of January to pray and reflect on the meaning of this life of prayer, penance and loving reparation. Thereafter, the spiritual mothers of the diocese would likely meet “ no more than three or four times a year.”
Among the women present Oct. 7 were Sister Christine Ereiser, O.S.B., prioress of St. Joseph Monastery with Sister Eugenia Brown and Sister Veronica Sokolosky, from St. Joseph’s Monastery, Tulsa.
“A couple of the sisters are interested, and so I came along,” Sister Christine said. “I’m very open to it; we’ll see what God has in store.”
Father Kirby stressed that any mature woman could become a spiritual mother, including single women, married women with children, widows and consecrated religious. For information on the nights of formation to be offered in January, please call 307-4955 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the first I have heard of this type of program in a diocese in the USA. Perhaps there are others, but I have not come across them.
I must say I am grateful for such a powerful initiative.