Saturday, August 7, 2010
Monthly Prayer Request for Priests
For the past year, my heart has been longing to do something special for the priests in my Archdiocese, to let them know that they are loved and needed, but most of all, to lift them up in prayer so that they will be under the protection of our heavenly Father in a very special way, especially those priests for whom very few people pray and those who may be struggling in their vocation, but also to strengthen and support those priests who are strong, healthy and holy, so that they may continue on the path to which the Lord has called them with vigor and deep love for all.
I had been so inspired by dear Easter and sweet Esther in Hawaii and the Spiritual Motherhood Apostolate which they began in their diocese that I began to work to build a Spiritual Motherhood Apostolate here in my own Archdiocese. Despite having lots of support from friends, family and several priests, I ended up hitting a brick wall last January and the entire plan was dropped. I decided that it was not God's will that I do this, and with deep sadness in my heart, I dropped the entire idea. I knew that I would continue to pray for priests on my own as I had always done before, in a particular way for those priests who were very special in my life and in a general way for all priests.
Now, for some reason, God has placed this issue back on my heart. I realize that a Spiritual Motherhood Apostolate is far too much work for me to even consider anymore, but I have found something so simple that anyone can participate in, not just women, and I have begun to become quite excited about the whole prospect of prayer for priests once again.
The Monthly Prayer Request for Priests (now in my sidebar), has been in existence for the past twenty years. It is currently operating in over 70 dioceses worldwide. It is simply a calendar format listing a priest's name each day for which those who are interested in praying for priests may offer prayers. In this way, each priest in the diocese is held in prayer by many people on one day of the calendar cycle for the diocese. The possibilities for prayer are myriad. Daily Masses could be offered, fasting, penance, daily offerings of joys and sorrows, rosaries or divine mercy chaplets could be prayed, or just a simple Lord's Prayer could be humbly prayed by a family for the priest of the day. The calendar can be printed in parish bulletins, posted in adoration chapels, distributed at nursing homes, convents and seminaries, or entire parishes could list the priest's name in their Mass prayer intentions.
I encourage you to visit the site to learn more about The Monthly Prayer Request for Priests and find out if your diocese participates. If not, maybe you would consider beginning one for the priests in your diocese. I would also ask that you hold me and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in prayer as I try to establish this Prayer Apostolate here.