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.
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.
In just over a month from today, the nation will once again celebrate a week dedicated to the prayer for vocations. This is a week when we remember the need of our local church for more seminarians, priests and religious, but it is also a week when we remember that God has created each of us for a definite purpose. While we want to pray for more priests and religious, we need to be open to the calling that God has placed on each of our hearts as well. Have you been created to give yourself entirely to one person for the rest of your life and through that marriage bring forth new life and lead them with you to heaven? Have you been created to give yourself entirely to all the people in a local church at the service of the Gospel and to stand in the place of Christ in the most important moment in the lives of your parishioners? Have you been created to love God above all and to be a bride of Christ, being a witness of the marital union we can all hope to attain one day in heaven? Have you been created to witness to the love of Christ in the world as a single person who is entirely satisfied by the love Christ offers you? Each of these paths are a unique calling and each one of us has been created to follow one of these paths in our own unique way, giving all our gifts and talents to the service of God in the way he has created us to use them!
That is what Vocation Awareness Week is about and that is why we are so excited to celebrate in many ways once again this year:
– Vocation Lesson plans have already been sent out to schools and parishes across the Archdiocese. These lesson plans are for all students in grades kindergarten through high school and also have lessons to share in a youth ministry setting. To access these plans simply go to www.vocationlessons.com and type in the access code CinciVocations513.
– The entire Archdiocese will have the opportunity to join with Catholics from across the entire state of Ohio in Eucharistic Adoration during a Statewide Evening of Adoration on Wednesday, November 4th. All parishes are invited to open their doors for this special evening, but more details along with a list of parishes who have already told the Vocation Office of their participation will be published soon. If your parish would like to join that list, please contact Wayne Topp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– The Serra Club of Cincinnati will be praying through the entire Bible in a Nine-Day Bible Reading Novena starting on November 2nd. At the beginning of each book they will dedicate their reading to an increase of religious vocations in the Archdiocese and will pray together the Archdiocesan Prayer for Vocations written by Archbishop Schnurr. All able readers are encouraged to get involved by visiting www.fiveminutechurch.net and clicking on the Sign Up Genius link.
Each month, the Vocation Office and the Children of Mary are sponsoring a holy hour for religious vocations at the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center. Each month, on the second Thursday of the month, (the next is on February 12th), our Eucharistic Lord will be present on the altar from 8-9 pm. Each holy hour is open to all. For more information click on the image below or email email@example.com.
January 8: Holy Hour for Vocations
Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, 5440 Moeller Ave., Norwood, OH 45212
Join the Children of Mary at a Holy Hour on Tuesday, January 8, from 8-9PM, in the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, OH where Our Lord is enthroned on the altar and wrapped with a stole around the monstrance that extends beneath the altar so that adorers can take hold of the stole and feel the grace that comes from Our Eucharistic Lord. All are welcome and encouraged to come.
Come join our seminarians in a Holy Hour for vocations to the priesthood in the Chapel of St. Gregory the Great Chapel at the Athenaeum/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. For more information call: 513-231-2223 or visit: www.athenaeum.edu.
January 18: Coffee and Conversation Sunday
Following 10:00 am Mass
St. Clare Chapel, 60 Compton Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45215
The Franciscan Sisters of the Poor welcome you for Coffee and Conversation Sunday, January 18 after the 10 am Mass at St. Clare Chapel. This is also a great opportunity for those discerning a religious vocation. Sr. Jo-Ann at 513-761-9040 x 156. www.sfp-vocations.org. Save the date- – Sunday, February 8th for an Open House and Tour of St. Clare Convent and campus.
January 28: Ministry Evening
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, 6616 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45230
The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West is hosting a Ministry Evening on Wednesday, January 28th for all men college age and older who are interested in learning more about seminary life and the formal discernment process that leads to ordination to the Priesthood. Men will join in prayer and dinner with seminarians and hear informative talks by seminarian faculty. There is no charge for the evening. All interested are asked to contact the Vocation Office at 513-421-3131 x.2891.
The numbers are in and the prayers are sent! Last Wednesday and Thursday, during National Vocation Awareness Week, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati participated in its first ever Archdiocesan Holy Hour for Vocations during which more than 25 locations participated in an hour of Eucharistic Adoration during which they prayed for an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life and a revitalization of the need for all of us to seek and follow the will of God in our lives. The night was a huge success!
One parish in Cincinnati, Christ the King, had 8th grade students lead a living rosary during which they lit one another’s candles as they said one “Hail Mary” after another. Other parishes offered prayers written by Pope Benedict XVI, more prayed a litany of vocations and still others added prayers written by St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests. All parishes offered individuals the opportunity to pray silently before our Eucharistic Lord and undoubtedly the Spirit was alive and moving across the Archdiocese! More than 400 people in all prayed before the Altar of God and many more were encouraged to join the invisible monastery of their homes.
In addition to these, the other 5 dioceses in Ohio participated in their own Diocesan Holy Hour so that throughout much of the day, the Lord heard the pleading of thousands across this state for more courageous young men and women who are willing to generously answer the call to the consecrated life as priests or religious.
It is expected that this newly created event will become a regular occurrence each year during Vocation Awareness Week. The second annual happening will likely be on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. Mark your calendars now and in the meantime, continue to pray for an increase in religious vocations and for God to reveal to you the purpose for which He created you.
The last post I put up was about community life and one thing that I intentionally left off was community prayer. Prayer was the most important thing that we did as a community; its the glue that holds the community together and without it, living together really didn’t make much sense. The heart of our day is our meetings in the chapel.
We met every morning at 6:45 for Mass and Morning Prayer and in the evening for Evening Prayer and three times a week we had a Holy Hour in the Evening. Meeting twice a day gave wonderful rhythm to daily life; day-to-day activities were built around prayer. In the same way the life of a priest is built around prayer. Another perspective might think that mandatory prayer and holy hours are rigid and too structured but I would disagree. It provided a good rhythm and made prayer a regular thing. It was kind of like growing up. When we were young, our parents made us to go to Mass every Sunday, but at some point (hopefully) it was second nature going to Mass every Sunday and we desired to go to the Holy Sacrifice. In the same way the structure is there to form good habits so that prayer becomes second nature.
Of course, after the mandatory community prayer we were urged to take personal time for prayer. I could see it in others and myself that when we first entered seminary, we attended the mandatory times of prayer, and little else. Slowly, though, we grew in our prayer life and began to pray more outside of mandatory community prayer. One of the things I noticed as a common theme at Bishop Brute was that responsibility was important, guys who were responsible seemed to flourish. This was no different for prayer; taking time out of a busy schedule to pray gave us zeal and excitement.
The prayer life was not something that I expected to fall in such love with when I entered seminary. A strong relationship with God tries to quench that unquenchable thirst. Both the formation staff and the spiritual directors encouraged us to make prayer a priority even though it can get lost in the midst of community life, class work, and ministry assignments. Prayer gives everyone, especially seminarians, priests, and religious, a rhythm of life and the energy to carry out days.
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