“He who would truly honor the priesthood must do so by helping priests. I would rather have a hand in getting one priest back to the altar of God than to write a thousand books on the priesthood, or to preach a million sermons on the glory of the priesthood, for neither the sermons nor the books can hold Christ in their hands and offer Him to the Father.”
~Very Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, s.P.
One of the things that I most enjoy about blogging is the ability that we all have to learn from such diverse sources about the varied communities and groups within our Catholic Church of which we might not ever have a previous knowledge. Joe, at Defend Us In Battle, who writes from Alaska, had recently written about a group of contemplative nuns at Cor Jesu Monastery in New Mexico, The Handmaids of the Precious Blood, which touched my heart here in Wisconsin and has changed my life in a profound way.
The Handmaids of the Precious Blood devote their lives to perpetual Eucharistic Adoration for the sanctification of Priests. They offer several external prayer apostolates so that those who are not in their community may join them in prayer for priests at whichever level may best suit their lives.
The Handmaids of the Precious Blood were founded in 1947 by Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, SP and the lay apostolates were added in the 1980's by Fr. John Hardon, SJ who replaced Fr. Fitzgerald as the order's spiritual director upon Fr. Fitzgerald's death.
Since I had begun a Monthly Prayer Request for Priests in Milwaukee last September, I felt that an opportunity to become an Oblate of the Precious Blood would be a beautiful way to deepen my prayer of love for the priesthood, so I applied to the order to determine whether or not God might be calling me to this life of deeper prayer.
"Begun under the guidance of the Servant of God Father John A. Hardon, S.J. on the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 21, 1981, the Oblates of the Precious Blood program was founded to allow priests, religious, deacons, and laity to more closely affiliate themselves with the mission and spirit of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood. Oblates of the Precious Blood bind themselves to our apostolate of prayer and sacrifice for priests by willingly committing themselves to lives completely dedicated to God, doing everything out of love for God and for the sanctification of priests. From their homes, their families, their work, their rectories, their dioceses, their missions, their hermitages, and their cloisters they reach out spiritually to priest souls in need, offering every joy and sorrow, all pain and suffering to God in love on behalf of priests. They dedicate themselves to learning the spirituality of our Founder, Father Gerald Fitzgerald, s.P. and give themselves in a lifelong resolution to live for God alone. Candidates undergo a formation period by correspondence conducted from our Motherhouse in New Mexico before making a private Solemn Resolution of Love. The Oblates are not a third order and members of third orders may apply for candidacy. World wide, there are at present over 420 Oblates of the Precious Blood. " ~from the Handmaids of the Precious Blood website
On Thursday October 27th, my friend, Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ, will officiate at a ceremony following Mass in my living room in which I will become enrolled as a candidate for Oblates of the Precious Blood. Following the ceremony, I will begin a formation period through correspondence with the order and, God-willing, it won't be long before I make a Solemn Resolution of Love and become accepted as an Oblate of the Precious Blood and will offer every aspect of my life and prayer for the sanctification of priests.
I ask you to please keep me in your prayers as I move ahead with this effort. Also, I encourage you to visit the website of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood to learn more about this beautiful order and their saintly founder.