Now this is your vocation, this is your contribution-and it is impossible for one human mind to visualize its ramifications, for when you strengthen a Priest then you share in all the good that he does for the rest of his life."
~Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, sP
It was a little over a year ago when I found the website of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood through a fellow blogger, Joe, at Defend Us In Battle. The Handmaids of the Precious Blood are cloistered nuns who offer all of their prayers and sacrifices for the sanctity of priests. As someone who had already been committed to praying for priests and had established the Monthly Prayer Request for Priests in Milwaukee, I was immediately convinced that God was calling me to further my prayer by joining in the prayers of the Handmaids, so I applied to become an Oblate of the Precious Blood. The application process included answering several questions about my faith and family life and obtaining references from three people who knew me through my parish, my family and my work. Upon acceptance for the year of formation, I began my candidacy with an enrollment ceremony within a Mass which was presided over by my friend Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ and was held in the intimacy of my living room with my immediate family and a close friend in attendance.
Following the enrollment ceremony I began to receive monthly lessons from Mother Marietta, HPB, from which I gained a deeper knowledge for the Catholic faith, the spirituality of Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, sP, the founder of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood, and the importance of prayer for priests. Each month I would eagerly read through the lessons from Mother Marietta and then re-read them prayerfully to garner a deeper understanding of their meaning in my life. Then I would answer a few questions which concluded each lesson and send my response to Mother Marietta. She, in turn, would respond to my reflection and then send the next lesson to me. It was a time of great spiritual growth. Finally, this past August, I completed my final lesson and then asked for Mother Marietta's permission to become an Oblate of the Precious Blood. Mother Marietta approved of my request.
On Saturday, October 6th, in the presence of my husband and our five children, as well as several close friends and family members, Bishop Donald Hying received my Solemn Resolution of Love. I chose the Day Chapel of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Milwaukee because it is my favorite place to pray, and I have enjoyed attending an early morning daily Mass there with Bishop Hying for the past six months. Bishop Hying had been the first person I told of my desire to begin the Monthly Prayer Request for Priests apostolate and to apply to become an Oblate of the Precious Blood and he had been very helpful and supportive to me throughout my religious endeavors, so I was very pleased that he was able to take some time out of his busy schedule to receive my Solemn Resolution of Love.
|Signing the Certificate|
The ceremony was very simple, yet deeply beautiful and moving. Bishop Hying said Mass, and immediately following the homily, I knelt before him and prayed the words that would forever unite me to the Handmaids of the Precious Blood and all of their prayers and sacrifices. The Bishop presented me with the Oblates insignia and the Handmaids prayer book and then we both signed a Certificate which states that I am now an Oblate of the Precious Blood.
As Bishop Hying handed me the insignia and prayer book of the Oblates of the Precious Blood he said:
"Recall Fr. Gerald's words, "What a privilege it is to be dedicated to the Blood of Jesus! Try never to get accustomed to the beautiful grace of being dedicated to Jesus Christ, to the Blood of His Heart."
I am filled with peace and joy to be an Oblate of the Precious Blood and to offer all of my prayers and sacrifices for the sanctification of priests. I am so grateful that the Lord has called me to this vocation.
You can read some of my previous posts about the Oblates of the Precious Blood here. For more information about the Handmaids of the Precious Blood and to learn how you can join them in praying for priests, click here.
|My family and I with Bishop Hying|
|Between two Pauls! My husband is on the right and Friar Paul Schneider, OFM, Conv. who is also an Oblate of the Precious Blood, is on my left. Friar Paul will be ordained to the priesthood this May. Please hold him in your prayers.|
Prayer of the Oblate: O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I thank You for the desire to make my life a total return of love to the Adorable Trinity. I wish to be united with You always in Your love. Thank You for the graces of my time in formation, for its lights, and its insights. Above all, thank You for Your Presence in the Holy Eucharist and for Your Priests who bring You to me.
Thank You for every Mass, every Holy Communion from the Last Supper until the end of time. Thank You for Your availability in the Tabernacles of the whole world, for all the Sacraments made fruitful by Your Precious Blood, for Your friendship and companionship to all who seek You, and for Mary, Mother of the Church.
O Mary, my Mother, I ask and I trust that you will take all I do for the love of God and will improve each action with your Motherly touch and make it more acceptable, more beautiful, for the glory of the Blessed Trinity. Amen. ~from the Ceremony of Solemn Resolution as an Oblate of the Precious Blood