(I will be back in Denver tomorrow. It has been a hectic – and wonderful – month of activity, from the wedding of my son to all the visits. I was quite impressed with the Diocese of Peoria. There is a small coterie of people who watch where I am going to be so they can call and complain. It’s a strange, crabbed vocation, but I guess everyone has to have their raison d’etre. While they have only managed to get something cancelled twice in the last year, some venue changes have been because of the complainers. But the Diocese of Peoria did not rely on lurid online attacks against me. Instead, they did their due diligence to find my actual status within my own Archdiocese – and then told the operators of the retreat center in Danville that I was free to speak there. It is nice when officials check the facts rather than react to the rumors.
Today, our own Beckita launches a project near and dear to her heart.
Many groups and materials have sprung forth, all over the world, for the worthy cause of praying for priests. I’m honored to facilitate matching the lay people and clergy who visit our TNRS site in order to provide prayer support for these priests. The people who commit would do so for the duration of the Storm, until Our Lady comes for the final Rescue sometime at the end of 2017.
I wish to keep the process a simple one. Whether you are a cleric who would like to ask for prayer support or a lay person interested in praying for a priest or bishop, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Clergy, please let me know if you prefer to use your TNRS screen name or a fictitious name. (I’d be willing to create a fictitious name, if you’d like.) That name will become a tangible link to the real cleric in the trenches, welcoming people back to God and ministering to their souls. After a few weeks of collecting emails, I’ll match people. At that time, I’ll let each cleric know that they have been adopted, and I will give each of those who are willing to pray the screen or fictitious name of the priest for whom he or she will be praying throughout the remainder of the Storm.
On December 8, 2007, the document, “Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity,” was released by the Vatican Congregation of the Clergy. In the document, the language, “spiritual mother” and “adopt a priest,” is used. If you are considering adopting a priest for prayer, you might like to read this document, which expresses encouragement from the highest levels of the Church. In all the vignettes shared, the person praying remained completely anonymous. Therefore, we will continue in this spirit so that adopting a priest will be an act of pure love with anonymity preserved. It is truly hidden work.
I especially appreciate an apostolate which has included spiritual paternity by asking men to consider adopting a priest. The apostolate is the ““Foundation of Prayer for Priests.” There is a vast array of rich resources to assist in your efforts of praying for priests as well as resources which foster spiritual knowledge and growth.
A final suggestion is to purchase a book (only if you’d like to do so; it’s not a necessary component) as you embark on this journey of prayer. Written by Kathleen Beckman, it is: Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization.
If you’re interested in becoming a spiritual mother or father and adopting a priest, you will see in the reading material which I’ve recommended that Eucharistic Adoration is intimately linked to this prayer effort, for each priest is inextricably linked to the Holy Eucharist. If you are someone who is homebound, you can find online sites with webcams beaming Jesus exposed in His Eucharistic Presence. When the internet is down, simply uniting spiritually with our Eucharistic Jesus would be a beautiful way to pray. For my adopted priest, I have also composed a simple, from-the-heart prayer that I pray each morning with the intention of enfolding him in all my daily prayers while asking Our Lady of Tepeyac to keep my priest in Her Immaculate Heart.
I’ve named our project, “With Love beyond All Telling,” as there is a line from one of the prefaces at Mass during Advent which includes this heart-piercing beauty: “He is the one foretold by all the prophets, whom the Virgin Mother bore with love beyond all telling.”
May we take up this cause, in the footsteps of our Mother, with love beyond all telling!
To remind you, if you have questions or would like to participate in our own TNRS Praying for Priests project, please contact me at email@example.com.
Blessed be God! Ave Maria!