The Serra Club of Cincinnati is undertaking a huge project for priestly vocations. For 9 days straight, May 12-21, 2014, from 9am-9pm, members of the Serra Club and anyone else who would like to help will be reading the Bible from cover to cover to pray for an increase of priestly vocations in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
The Serra Club is an international organization founded under the name of Blessed Junipero Serra who was a missionary in California and who helped to establish missions (mostly traveling on foot despite suffering from complications from being bitten by a poisonous snake) from San Diego to San Francisco. This organization was founded by just 5 business men who began meeting regularly to discuss the ways they can live out their Christian beliefs in their work place. That meeting eventual gave way to a mission to help support and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Since 1935, that mission has continued and the Cincinnati Serra Club has helped to further that mission right here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati since its founding in 1973.
This special project is a further extension of the great work Serra Club does to promote and support priestly vocations. The Bible Reading Novena will take place at the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood and requires the use of many, many practiced public speakers/readers! Help is needed!
- are a lector at your parish
- know someone who is a lector, or
- have other practiced public reading/speaking skills
please sign up today to fill at least one of the 216 available slots!
The Serra Club is also hoping to record the entire Novena and make it available online and are accepting donations to help offset the costs of such a production at any PNC Bank.
Let’s all pray together for an increase in young men willing to accept this supernatural call to the Holy Priesthood!
The following is a “Letter from the Pastor” sent in to us by Fr. John Tonkin, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus in McCartyville. This letter will appear in this weekend’s bulletin in his parish and I thought his words should be heard by all as they speak poignantly to the responsibility we all have and the urgency with which we must act in raising up good and holy priests:
When I travel and attend Mass at other parishes, I like to bring back a copy of the bulletin to see what is happening in that part of the world, to see if there is something I can learn and use in our parish. Some of you also bring me bulletins from other parishes you visit in your travels. Recently, Diane Reiss brought me a bulletin from Sacred Heart Parish in Ely, Nevada. Here is an excerpt from Fr. McShane’s Pastor’s Letter: I will be absent next weekend March 15 & 16 with my annual attendance at the LA Religious Education Congress. Because there is no available priest to take my place, we will have a Communion Service instead of Mass. I wish I could have had a priest to replace me, but there was no priest able to come.
If we think that can’t or won’t happen here, then we are fooling ourselves. In the year 2020, just six short years from now, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will have more retired priests than priests actively assigned to parishes as pastors or parochial vicars. Just as the baby boomers are swelling the ranks of retirees in the secular world, so are the baby boomer priests becoming eligible for retirement. Some day in the not-so-distant future many parishes will feel the pinch—and for some it will be a death knell. So what can we do about it? For one, we need to continue to pray individually, as families and as a parish community for more men to answer the call to ordained priesthood within the Catholic Church. And, we need to turn our prayer into action. A 2012 study by CARA showed that when three or more individuals actively support a young man or woman who is giving serious consideration to the priesthood or religious life, then that individual is more than five times more likely to give the calling strong consideration than if they did not have that support. We as a parish and we as individuals need to continue to foster vocations among our young men. When we see someone and he has the qualities that make a good priest (the same qualities that make a good husband and a good father), then it is our responsibility to point it out to him and ask: Have you ever thought about being a priest? God has not stopped calling men to the priesthood. But have we stopped asking?
To begin answering this call, please plan to join us in prayer for priestly vocations tomorrow, Thursday, March 27 from 7-8 pm. We will offer a Holy Hour for Priestly Vocations at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West but for whose who can’t make it, please take some time during that hour (or the whole hour) to pray for more young men to answer the call God has place on their heart and for you to recognize those young men so that you can give them encouragement as they begin their journey.
Over the next couple of weeks, the vocation office is going to be out and about quite a bit and you are invited to join us!
For high school teens:
***CORRECTION***Monday, March 24th there is an Andrew Dinner for all high school young men who have thought about becoming a priest and who want to know more about seminary life. The dinner is held with Archbishop Schnurr at Guardian Angels in Cincinnati from 5:30-8:00 pm. Reserve your spot by calling your pastor.
On Saturday, March 29th, hear from people who have sought and followed the will of God in their lives at a Vocation Panel discussion for teens and parents from 5-6:30 pm at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood. This discussion is FREE to attend and includes a pizza dinner! Then stay for an exciting Encounter with the Lord in the Eucharist from 6:30-10pm. This evening event includes a fantastic guest speaker, teen witness talks and Eucharistic adoration and procession. It closes with time for socializing and refreshments. See the promo video here.
The weekend of April 5-6 is another opportunity for high school young men to learn more about life in the seminary is at the College Live-In Weekend at the Pontifical College Josephinum. There you will have the opportunity to join in the community life of the seminary and meet with other young men from the Archdiocese who are currently discerning their call to the priesthood through their formal formation at the seminary. Contact email@example.com to register for this weekend.
On Saturday, March 22nd, from 9-Noon at the Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk Center in Dayton, there is a Men’s Discipleship Visioning Day for all Catholic men. Come to share in providing a vision for the way the Church can reach out to men and make them true disciples of Jesus Christ and be inspired by the impact that vision can have! Space is limited, so you’ll need to register. Check out the details here.
On Thursday, March 27th from 7-8pm, there will be a Holy Hour at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West/the Athenaeum of Ohio to pray for vocations to the Priesthood. If you are unable to attend at the seminary, please mark your calendars and pray during that hour at your local parish or in your homes. Let us together “Beg the master of the harvest to send more laborers into the field.” See the Adoration for Vocations flyer.
On Saturday, April 5th, there will be a Square Dance to raise money for Run for the Call, a team of runners who have dedicated themselves to supporting seminarians through sacrifice, prayer and raising funds. These funds go to seminarians who find themselves in emergency situations or who find they cannot afford the cost of a college seminary education. The square dance, which includes food and refreshments, runs from 6-11pm and the cost is $8/person. See the Square Dance flyer for more details.
Occasionally in the Vocation Office, we receive emails from congregations we did not know prior. This week, we received an email from the Alexian Brothers to introduce themselves, which is always welcome!
From their website:
The Congregation of Alexian Brothers is a lay, apostolic Catholic Order whose Brothers, bound together by religious vows, dedicate themselves primarily to live in community and to participate in the ministry of healing in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. For almost 800 years, the Alexian Brothers have cared for the sick, the aged, the poor and the dying.
The basic Judeo-Christian beliefs that inspired the founders of this Catholic religious congregation continue to sustain its ministry today. This heritage is espoused by the governance, management and entire health care team throughout the Alexian Brothers Health System in their mutual commitment to promote the physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being of all individuals served through the health care ministry.
As the there has been a dearth in priestly vocations (which is finally, albeit slowly abating), there has been a greater dearth in vocations to the brotherhood. Please offer a prayer for this community and all those called to the unique role of Brother within the Catholic Church.
Here’s what else is going on through the vocation office.
March 4: Holy Rosary, St. Mary’s
March 24: Guardian Angels, Cincinnati
April 3: St. Christopher, Vandalia
These are opportunities for young men (high school age and older) to join their pastors for a dinner with Archbishop Schnurr and a presentation on life in college seminary. The evening begins at 5:30 and is finished by 8:00 pm. Any young man who is interested in attending one of these dinners is asked to contact his pastor. Anybody who has a name of a young man the pastor could invite to one of these dinners is also asked to contact the pastor.
Welcome Weekend at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West
On Friday, March 28 at 7:00 pm through Saturday, March 29 at 7:00 pm, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West is opening its doors to young men, college age and older, who are considering their call to the priesthood. During this welcome weekend, men will have the opportunity to eat and socialize with the seminarians, spend the night in the seminary, pray with the seminarians and hear great talks on discernment and life in the seminary by talented priests and seminarians. Those interested are asked to contact Fr. Kyle Schnippel at 513-421-3131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live in Weekend at Pontifical College Josephinum
The only Pontifical seminary outside of Europe, the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus is once again hosting a college live-in weekend on April 3-5, 2014 for all young men high school age and older who are considering their call to the priesthood. During this weekend you will have a chance to fully experience seminary life as you pray, eat and socialize with current seminarians and hear great talks by priest faculty members and spiritual directors. Those interested in this opportunity should contact Fr. Kyle Schnippel at 513-421-3131 or email@example.com.
Here is what is coming up from other religious communities:
Tristate Area Martha Dinner
On Thursday, March 13, 2014, several religious communities will host a Martha Dinner, at St. Margaret of York Parish, 9499 Columbia Rd. in Loveland, OH. The event is free and open to high school girls and young women who are interested in religious life. This is an opportunity to visit with sisters from more than a half dozen women religious communities pray together and spend time exploring a call to religious life. To register: call 513-761-9040 ext. 101, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com
Vocation Discernment Retreat
The Sisters of the Precious Blood are hosting a vocation discernment retreat for women 18-40 who are interested in learning more about life as a consecrated woman. The retreat is March 21-23 at Maria Stein Spiritual Center. Reservations are due by March 19 and can be made by emailing Sister Mary Yarger at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (937) 837-3302 or (937) 999-8456.. There is no cost.
The Spring Andrew Dinners will be held at the following locations:
- March 4: Holy Rosary, St. Mary’s
- March 24: Guardian Angels, Cincinnati
- April 3: St. Christopher, Vandalia
As a reminder, these are an opportunity for pastors to invite young men, whom they consider to have the possibilities for the priesthood, to join Archbishop Schnurr for dinner and a presentation on life in the college seminary. Often, youth ministers can help solicit names of whom to invite. The schedule runs as follows:
- 5:30 Doors Open
- 6:00 Dinner
- 6:45 Presentation on College Seminary Life
- 7:30 Evening Prayer and Closing
These dinners have been a key component in increasing our numbers of college seminarians from four to twenty over the last five years. Please take this opportunity to continue this success.
Run for the Call
Run for the Call is now a partner charity of the Flying Pig Marathon. All runners and walkers who want to run in the weekend events of the Marathon on May 3-4th are invited to join our team and help us to raise money for seminarians while promoting a culture of vocations throughout the Archdiocese. To help prepare for the big weekend, Run for the Call is also establishing running clubs throughout the Archdiocese. For more information and to sign up, visit http://runforthecall.wordpress.com.
Cast Your Nets
On Sunday, February 23, 2014, Cast Your Nets will return to Holy Redeemer featuring guest speaker, Ryan Lopez of NET Ministries and music led by St. Henry Youth Minister, Kevin Schulze. This year’s Cast Your Nets will once again include practical workshops, dinner, opportunity to engage with members of religious communities and Eucharistic Adoration. Cost for the event is just $10 which includes an event t-shirt. Please encourage your youth minister to attend, as this is the only Cast Your Nets event happening this year. Registration will open in late January.
This dinner is open to high school young women and young adults who are interested in more information about the religious life and what it takes to become a religious sister.
The dinner runs from 6-8 pm but the doors open at 5:30 pm. There is no cost, but registrations are expected so that enough food can be prepared. In addition to hearing from Archbishop Schnurr, young women can expect to meet religious women from both monastatic and apostolic communities as well as the opportunity to join them in prayer.
Anybody interested in joining this dinner should contact Sr. Mary Yarger, C.PP.S at 937-999-8456 or email email@example.com.
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