Today we added to our website a new resource for all parish vocation ministries across the Archdiocese. Initiated by a group of women from Immaculate Heart of Mary in Anderson Township and passed along to our office, the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests prayer apostolate.
This movement comes out of a recommendation by the Congregration for the Clergy when they published a document back in 2007 entitled Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity. In this document we read, “Pope St. Pius X rightfully confirms his experience that, ‘Every vocation to the priesthood comes from the heart of God, but it goes through the heart of a mother!'” And in this statement he does not mean to limit motherhood to those who are physical mothers, but, along with Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, he extends that meaning to all women who commit their lives to holiness and to prayer for priests. Children, mothers, widows, religious sisters, all can be spiritual mothers and the world needs them to become just that!
Please, take the time to read the documents found on our resource page, be inspired by the power of a mother’s prayers, look into the other great information on Spiritual Motherhood and pray about becoming a spiritual mother yourself and bringing a Spiritual Motherhood Sodality to your parish.
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.
In this is love brought to perfection among us,
that we have confidence on the day of judgment
because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. 1 John 4: 17-18
Yesterday, the first reading at mass ended with these beautiful and challenging words. God is love. What a beautiful thought and yet, it is easy for us to think of so many times in our lives when we don’t let love in our hearts. We choose to let anger and bitterness and resentment dwell there. We choose to let fear dwell there. We choose to let perfectionism and perhaps even legalism dwell there. Instead, this brief passage, and the opening verses from today’s mass (go here to read that right now) are challenging us to let only Love dwell there and to act from that FIRST.
Our perfect following of God’s holy will will only happen when we truly learn to love and to hold onto Love in all situations. When we seem to be lost in our vocation, when we seem to be stuttering on how to respond to difficult situations in our lives, we must turn to God and beg for the grace to love and to remember how gracious God is in giving us the most perfect example of Love. Our response to that is our love for those we can see and interact with on a daily basis. We show our love for God by showing love for our neighbors and our brothers. If we cannot do that, we cannot love God.
As we seek perfection, as we seek God’s will, as we seek refuge from our fears, let us do so by courageously examining how well we love one another. It is through this constant seeking to love and be the Love of God in this world that we will be transformed and become the person God has created us to be.
Nearly 10 days ago, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was pleased to accept the candidacy of 4 new men for holy orders. This ceremony, which occurred on December 8th, is the first step in a process that, with God’s grace, will ultimately lead them to the Catholic Priesthood. Candidacy does not mean that the men are definitely going to be priests nor does it mean that they have taken any vows that would keep them from leaving formation if they discern it is God’s will to do so. This means that the Church formally recognizes that these men are worthy of being ordained with the expectation that he then will fulfill all the requirements to prepare him for the priesthood. Along the journey to the priesthood, these men will also be instituted as lectors and acolytes. These “minor orders” are conferred upon the seminarians and designate them as special ministers of the Word and of the Holy Eucharist respectively.
We congratulate the four men studying for the Archdiocese (Andrew Reckers, Jeremy Stubbs, Benson Lotiang’a, and Chris Komoroski) as well as their four classmates of other dioceses (Tim Fernandez, Tulsa; Robert Healy, Tulsa; David Casal, Tula; Bryan Furlong, Youngstown).
Expect to see yellow!
This coming Saturday, November 7th, the annual Pro-Life Saver 5K will be run out in Anderson Township and given the fervor for the pro-life movement that can so often be found in our seminaries these days, it may not be a surprise that many men from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West will be joining in the race whose proceeds go to the Cincinnati Right to Life.
You might be surprised, though, to hear that nearly 20 of the seminarians will be either running or walking in the 5K and all of them will be spreading the message about vocations, too! All of the men will be sporting the Run for the Call team shirts and reminding everyone that, not only are all of us formed in God’s image and deserve the chance at a life of dignity, we are made by God for some definite purpose and our response is to run headlong towards the will of God.
May we all continue to strive for the day when every person is allowed to keep the life and dignity granted him by his Creator and each of us has the courage to seek out and enthusiastically fulfill the purpose for which we are created!
As we enter National Vocation Awareness Week starting this weekend, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to our newest seminarians for the 2015-2016 school year! Because of the prayers of the faithful throughout the Archdiocese, this class has tied the largest incoming class of seminarians in the past 30 years and we pray that the Lord continues to bless this Archdiocese with more young men who are willing to surrender their entire lives to the will of the Lord and that he leads them by his grace to the Holy Priesthood for which he made them.
New College Seminarians: men who are taking undergrad courses at a 4-year university while participating in seminary formation
New Pre-Theology Seminarians: men who have graduated from a 4-year university with a degree in something other than Philosophy or Theology. The church requires that men have been grounded in philosophy before moving onto the study of theology. In addition to that, this time of pre-theology is also a time of spiritual preparation for major seminary.
New Major Seminarians: These men have all the required philosophy courses and are ready to begin graduate studies in Theology.
To learn a little more about all 53 of our current seminarians, go to the Meet the Seminarians page and see what they have to say about what drew them to the seminary in the first place and what advice they can give on how to deal with struggles in prayer.
Vocation Awareness Week is coming in just three weeks! During the first week of November, the entire nation will be celebrating the gift of priestly and religious vocations to the Church as well as remembering the great need and gift the vocation to marriage is to raising saints. During this year for Consecrated Life it is a great idea for young people to see what it means to be a religious brother or sister and some of the religious communities that serve our Archdiocese have made it possible. At this link you will find videos of various lengths for many religious communities that serve both in and around the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Check out the descriptions and find a couple videos that will work for your classroom, prayer group, or youth ministry.
Another series of videos has just come to our attention and they are well worth your time: Consecrated in Cleveland. This series of videos explores the many different aspects of the life of one who is called to the consecrated vocation. The videos feature two women from orders present here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the would make a very nice study for Vocation Awareness Week or any other week of the year that fits your home or classroom schedule.
For more Vocation Awareness Week information, click here.
For the second year in a row, every diocese in the state of Ohio will be joining together in Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations on Wednesday, November 4, 2015! This effort will have the great effect of blanketing the entire state with prayer for priestly and religious vocations and give all those who participate the great opportunity to take part in one of the largest prayer efforts many will experience in the local church!
In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, we once again have more than 20 parishes participating as hosts for the 7:00-8:00 pm time of adoration and a few others will be offering special opportunities for prayers for vocations on other days during the upcoming National Vocation Awareness Week. To get all the details, click here. There you will find a list and a map of all the participating parishes, the times they are offering adoration (or special prayers for vocations) and how to contact that parish.
If you do not see your parish on the list and would like to see it there, please contact your pastor or contact me, Wayne Topp at 513-421-3131 x.2891.
For other activities happening during National Vocation Awareness Week, November 1-7, click here.
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