I had a great text cross-country SMS from a colleague in the TMSM this morning at a little church in Shell Lake, WI. Here is a poster at the parish…
First, I am delighted that they found – note the date of copyright – 2011 – and used the prayer I have been pushing. My only complaint is dumbing it down a bit, “ask” in place of “beseech”, for example. That said, Fr. Z kudos to them. I suspect that someone there found it either at St. Agnes Church in St. Paul (my home parish, where it was/is prayed during all Sunday Masses), or from one of my articles in The Wanderer years ago, or from an old post on this blog. Alternately, perhaps the former Bishop there, originally from St. Paul, knew of it somehow.
I don’t care where they got it. Heck… maybe from the original prayer card!
For those of you who don’t know the back story, here is something from one of my posts here, not long ago:
We have to get down on our knees constantly and pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Let’s not pray for generic “vocations”, lumping them all together. No. We need a public, manifest, constant call for vocations to the priesthood from our own homes and families, not someone else’s.
At the parish where I serve, the pastor and I had cards printed with an old prayer for vocations used at my home parish, where there was on average a First Mass every year. From now on, at every Sunday and Holy Day Mass, after the Gospel and before the announcements and sermon, everyone will kneel and say this prayer:
LEADER: Please kneel for our prayer for vocations. Let us ask God to give worthy priests, brothers and sisters to His Holy Church.
ALL: O God, we earnestly beseech Thee to bless this (arch)diocese with many priests, brothers and sisters, who will gladly spend their entire lives to serve Thy Church and to make Thee known and loved.
LEADER: Bless our families. Bless our children.
ALL: Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.
LEADER: Mary, Queen of the Clergy!
ALL: Pray for us. Pray for our priests and religious. Obtain for us many more.
A friend back home – whom I miss rather a lot – sent me one of the original holy cards, which I prize.
Note that key line:
Choose from our homes those who are needed for Thy work.
We had cards made with beautiful artwork on the front and this very prayer on the back. Soon it will be so much a part of the regular Sunday and Holy Day practice that everyone will know it by heart. It will ring in the ears of young people and keep the idea of a religious vocations constantly present and active. I don’t doubt the outcome.
This is an ACTION ITEM. Fathers, consider implementing this in your parishes. And don’t junk the prayer up with additions about “married life” or “single life” or “permanent deacons”. Just leave it as it is. We’ve done the heavy lifting by already printing the cards if you want to drop a line.
Lay people! Especially you who are in sound parishes! Go to your priests with this post and ask them to implement a prayer for vocations to the priesthood. Keep at them.