In the sacrament of Holy Orders Jesus shares his priesthood with men, making them our spiritual fathers and bestowing on them the power to act in his Person. When the priest says the words of institution at Mass: “This is my body . . . This is my blood,” that which was bread and wine now becomes the whole Christ: body, blood, soul and divinity because Jesus speaks and acts through him. When the priest tells us in confession: “I absolve you of your sins,” Jesus is the divine Physician giving us, through the ministry of his priest, the absolute assurance that our sins are forgiven. When the priest blesses; it is Jesus who blesses.
To any young man in our parish who is discerning a call to the priesthood or who feels some attraction to priestly life and ministry, I would be happy to hear from you and delighted to talk with you. Know that I pray for you daily and that I am ready to support you in your vocational journey. I invite all members of our parish family to become personally and actively involved in the effort to identify men with apparent qualities for priesthood, encourage them to discern the will of God in their lives and engage the parish in the process of coming to know these potential vocations. Let us recommit ourselves to fervent prayer that the call of Christ the High Priest will echo in the hearts of the next generation and that it will be nurtured and sustained so as to grow and flourish. May God grant all of us the grace to follow Christ’s call and the joy of inviting others to respond to that call in their lives.
~Father Mark Stec
Would you like more information about vocations and the Church? Please consult the following United States Conference of Catholic Bishops vocations website: www.foryourvocation.org
PRAYER for VOCATIONS to the PRIESTHOOD (Diocese of Belleville) Personal prayer is very important as you go forward. Try to participate in daily mass. Go to the sacrament of Reconciliation frequently. Begin the practice of spiritual reading (e.g., the lives of the saints, especially priest saints). This will surely help you decide if you should commit your life to Christ and His Church as a priest. Know that if you embrace the Diocese of Belleville as a future priest, the whole Church of southern Illinois will be praying for you as well.
Why not join us in praying our Prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood each day? The prayer is:
Leader: God is good.
Response: All the time!
Leader: All the time.
Response: God is good!
Let us Pray:
Lord, Our God we know that You are Goodness itself. Throughout history you have called forth ministers of Word and Sacrament to lead, guide, and serve your people as priests. We join with our Bishop in praying for an increase in vocations to the priesthood in our Diocese. We ask you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to stir up a desire in the hearts of young men in our parishes to serve your Church in the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Help them to hear and respond generously to your call deep within their hearts, so they may join with those who have built up your Church, through their ministry as priests. O God of Love and Mercy, we pray that you will inspire our priests to continue to share the joy and the happiness of their ministry at Your Altar in the Christian community. Prompt parents, grandparents, and teachers to realize that sometimes you call future priests to your service through the encouragement of those who see in them the qualities of a good priest. We pray especially for our seminarians. We ask you to help them to be the best human beings, the best Christians, and the best priests they can be. Graciously hear our prayer through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of priests and in the name of Jesus who is Christ the Lord.