One of the more striking commercials from the Super Bowl was ‘The Farmer’ by Dodge, featuring a speech given by Paul Harvey to the 1978 Future Farmers of America Convention. I riffed it this morning for the priesthood:
So Jesus Called the Priest
And as He Ascended, Jesus looked down at His nascent Church and said, “I need a caretaker.” So Jesus called the Priest.
Jesus said, “I need to still be present to guide the lost; to organize the community; to build my Kingdom; to comfort those who sorrow; to encourage others to greatness in My Name; to shepherd My people.” So Jesus called the Priest.
Jesus said, “I need to continue to teach and instruct, to form children in the ways of Truth; to guide academics in the mysteries of the universe I have shaped; to challenge governments to respect the order of creation; to preserve the integrity of my teaching; to pass along my teachings in the Scriptures; to respond to new questions with timeless answers.” So Jesus called the Priest.
Jesus said, “I need to baptize children into My Name; to strengthen my disciples as soldiers of My Name; to give My Precious Body and Blood to nourish my people; to forgive their sins; to anoint the weak; to witness my love shining in the love of a married couple, to call others to take up the mantle of the Cross.” So Jesus called the Priest.
It had to be someone who would be a sign of contradiction in this world. Somebody who dwells here, but has his face set towards heaven. Someone who would comfort the afflicted, but afflict those who are too comforted. Someone who would embrace a life of sacrifice so that others might live. Someone who can share a laugh with a friend and quick embrace with the stranger. Someone who would be a father to all but a dad to none. Someone who reject the pleasures of this world to show the glory of the life to come. Someone who recognizes that, “Jesus called the Priest.”
Sunday began a week to celebrate that each and every one of us has a vocation, a particular call from God to fulfill a specific purpose in this world. In particular during this week we remember and give special attention to the particular vocations of priesthood and consecrated religious life. Every day this week we will be posting to our Facebook page different articles, videos and quotes to help celebrate this week. As you celebrate with us, please pray daily the prayer for vocations written by Archbishop Schnurr.
Additionally, if you haven’t yet done so, please visit our Vocation Awareness Educational Materials page and print off the plans that will best help your family, school, parish or small faith sharing group celebrate this week.
On Wednesday, January 23, 2013, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, opens her doors to candidates interested in exploring the Diocesesan Priesthood. Men, college age and older, who are interested in exploring a vocation are invited to join the seminary community for Mass, social time and Dinner; and the evening concludes with a short presentation on seminary life. The evening events begin at 5:15 and should be completed by 8:00.
Those interested in attending should call the Vocation Office at 513.421.3131, x. 2890 or email Fr. Kyle Schnippel: vocations (at) catholiccincinnati (dot) org.
Please keep these men in your prayers.
It is the end of the first week of November and we are excited to announce that we finally have available to you the first of the Vocation Awareness Educational Materials for Vocation Awareness Week 2013, January 9-13, 2013.
This year, as you know, Vocation Awareness Week is happening during the Year of Faith and so we have chosen to focus on our need for faith and its impact on our vocation as we say with the apostles, “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). This simple phrase not only recognizes our need for faith, but also the source of the faith we profess, which is Christ himself. And it is in accepting this gift of faith that we place ourselves humbly before God and say, “not my will, but your will be done” in my life.
As in previous years we are doing our best this year to make the materials as comprehensive and easy to use as possible. However, we know that our plans may not fit perfectly into your classroom plans and so we encourage you to adapt these plans as you find necessary and make them your own.
Additionally, for the first time this year, we have tried to give you a quick summary of the focus of each lesson plan, so, if you have already covered the topic we chose for your particular age group, perhaps there is a topic covered by another lesson plan that you could adapt for your classroom. Just browse the list and choose what best fits your classroom.
While the school year is well under way and, in fact, the first quarter at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West here in Cincinnati is coming to a close, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to all the new guys who have begun their formal discernment as seminarians for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati:
Please keep these men and all 45 of our current seminarians in your prayers as they continue their discernment and prepare themselves to be priests for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
This month’s installment of the Get to Know series comes from Sr. Mary St. Kisai Corripio, SNDdeN of the US Vocation Team for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The sisters have been active in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati since 1840 and run a Catholic high school and elementary school in Cincinnati. For more information about the sisters visit their website at http://www.sndden.org or www.ASKanSND.org.
Sacred friendship is at the heart of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The foundational friendship is that between God and our foundress St. Julie Billiart. This friendship was born when Julie was very small, persevered and deepened through trial, illness and persecution. It is the friendship through which God planted the charism which the congregation still carries today: the intimate awareness of God’s goodness and the desire to embody that goodness for the world.
The Congregation was founded during the turbulent years following the French Revolution. In preparation for its founding God forged a friendship between two very different women, Julie Billiart, a poor simple woman from a village north of Paris, and Viscountess Françoise Blin de Bourdon. Francoise, as a member of the aristocracy had narrowly escaped being guillotined. Julie poor, yet well loved for her deep faith and courage had been rented a room by a friend and benefactress in the Blin residence in Amiens. The two met when Francoise paid a visit to her invalid tenant, and they discovered in each other a common love for God that drew them together into what has been called, “the greatest recorded friendship between women in the history of religious life.”
Together they professed their first vows as Sisters of Notre Dame in 1804 after having known each other for ten years. And seeing the needs of the times, they dedicated themselves to the education of the poor, especially women and girls. Julie had the vision that her daughters would go “to the ends of the earth,” so she exhorted them to have hearts as wide as the world. Indeed, the congregation grew rapidly and spread to multiple dioceses in France and Belgium.
After her death, the first foreign mission was realized, and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, left Belgium for the New World, settling first in Cincinnati in 1840. Soon after, the Sisters founded missions in Congo, Great Britain, and now have sisters in 17 countries across five continents
In the USA, too, God blessed the congregation with a sacred friendship between the Superior Louise Van der Schrieck and her protégé, Sister Julia McGroarty, who had been the first woman to enter the congregation in the US and also became successor to Louise as Superior of the US Province.
Their collaboration set the firm foundations for the Congregation in the United States, now numbering nearly 900 sisters from coast to coast. The sisters still hold education as our primary call, manifest in a diversity of ministries. We have three universities: Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC, Emmanuel College in Boston, and Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA; and several high schools and elementary schools, adult education centers, etc. In Cincinnati, the sisters founded and continue to staff Mt. Notre Dame High School in 1860 and Corryville Catholic in 1877.
More recently, the sisters have opened ministries to serve those lacking material resources. One such ministry is Cincinnati Housing Partners, a program dedicated to increasing home-ownership opportunities for families in the Cincinnati area. The organization builds houses or purchases houses and rehabilitates them with the help of volunteers. The homes are sold to low-to-moderate income families. Homeowners also attend classes that teach the skills required for successful home ownership. Another is the West End Center which provides human services to encourage self-sufficiency and interdependence. Programs include: Power Inspires Progress and the West End Emergency Center/Food Bank.
For more information about these ministries or to volunteer see www.sndohio.org
You can learn more about the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at www.sndden.org
And to learn about how to become a sister of Notre Dame de Namur, see www.ASKanSND.org or call Sister Angele Lewis at 888/827-1724 (toll free).
Today’s installment of the Get to Know Series has been written by Sr. Mary Lou Schmersal, CPPS, a Sister of the Precious Blood. To learn more about the sisters, please visit their community website at www.preciousbloodsistersdayton.org. Or contact Sister Schmersal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We Sisters of the Precious Blood are an active apostolic congregation devoted to Eucharistic prayer and motivated by the selfless sacrifice of Jesus. In imitation of the life-giving, reconciling power of the Precious Blood of Christ poured out for us, we go forth to care, comfort, aid, and heal. Fueled by a vibrant faith, our ministries take us beyond traditional convent walls and into real world communities throughout the U.S., Chile, and Guatemala; into the lives of real people in need of real help. We rely on the special gifts and talents of each of our Sisters to champion justice, provide voices to the unheard, and light to those living in darkness.
Our proud history started with Maria Anna Brunner from Switzerland, a widowed mother of six who lived during the nineteenth century. Following an intense religious experience during a pilgrimage to Rome and at the age of 70, Mother Brunner gathered around her several women who were drawn to Precious Blood spirituality, to ministry to the poor and to adoration of the Eucharist. Mother Brunner died in 1836, leaving behind the women who sustained and grew their prayerful, active community, eventually becoming the Sisters of the Precious Blood.
In the United States
Three Sisters of the Precious Blood came to the United States in 1844 at the invitation of Bishop John Baptist Purcell of Cincinnati, Ohio. They were the first of many from both Switzerland and Germany. They accompanied the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, who had been founded in Italy by St. Gaspar del Bufalo and whose pioneering member in the United States was Father Francis deSales Brunner, the son of Mother Brunner.
The first Sisters settled temporarily in Peru, Ohio, eventually moving to New Riegel in nearby Seneca County where on December 22, 1844, they moved into a new convent named in honor of Mary at the Crib. Under the direction of Father Brunner, the Sisters in the early years were part of ten foundations in western Ohio and in nearby Jay County, Indiana.
The Sisters prayed hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, and worked in maintaining both their simple convents and those of the Fathers and Brothers. Wherever the Sisters were they reached out to meet the needs of the children of the area by opening and operating schools and orphanages, especially for German Catholic immigrants.
In 1846, the first Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Precious Blood was established at Maria Stein, Ohio. Maria Stein was named in honor of “Mary of the Rock,” a popular Marian shrine in Switzerland which had often been visited by Mother Brunner. The community increased in membership, established houses for Eucharistic adoration and began to expand its ministries to meet new needs, including religious instruction, domestic work in seminaries and bishops’ residences, ministry among Native Americans, and care for the sick and elderly.
In 1903, the Sisters accepted a challenging mission in Arizona, before it was even a state. Ten years after that they responded to the invitation to establish a school in San Luis Rey in southern California. In 1923, the congregation transferred its motherhouse to Dayton, Ohio. The original motherhouse in Maria Stein, today a valued Ohio Historical Site, continues as a center of prayer, Eucharistic adoration and pilgrimage and houses the internationally known Shrine of the Holy Relics, welcoming guests and hosting various programs.
In 1946 the congregation became a formally recognized pontifical institute, known officially as the Congregation of the Sisters of the Precious Blood. The initials C.PP.S. stand for the Latin “Congregatio Pretiosissimi Sanguinis.”
As the community grew and spread, we eventually served God’s people in states from east to west and north to south: Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Colorado, Arizona and California as well as many places in Ohio. Our congregation of the Sisters of the Precious Blood of Dayton, Ohio, is now a thriving community that actively lives our faith in the United States, Latin America, and around the world.
In Latin America
On December 28, 1956, five Precious Blood Sisters from the United States set sail on the Santa Margarita for the congregation’s first international mission in Chile since our Sisters had arrived from Europe. This was in response to the invitation of Pope Pius XII who asked religious communities to send members to the church in Latin America where clergy and religious were needed to serve the people.
They arrived in the port of Valparaiso on January 16, 1957, marking the beginning of what would become the congregation’s Chilean Vicariate, eventually comprised of both American and Chilean sisters and where they remain in ministry today.
In the late 1980s, Precious Blood Sisters ventured once again to Latin America and began various ministries in Guatemala. One Sister remains there today running a recognized school for indigenous girls.
In Response to Needs Here and Around the World
Several Sisters of the Precious Blood have also provided temporary service to people who suffered emergencies both here and around the world. In 2005, two Sisters went to India and worked with survivors of the tsunami that devastated so much of the country.
Sisters have participated in international peacekeeping efforts in the Palestinian Territories. After the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, several Sisters went to live and work there, offering people healing and reconciliation in their lives.
These are some of the ways we express our vowed life as contemporary women religious. We make a difference in the world, every single day. Check out our website to learn more about us: www.preciousbloodsistersdayton.org
Urged by the redeeming love of Jesus the Christ and rooted in Eucharistic prayer, we Sisters of the Precious Blood proclaim God’s love by being a life-giving, reconciling presence in our fractured world.
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