Thursday, 16 July 2009
A short while back, I got chatting to a gentleman in Addiscombe. He has been doing a lot to promote vocations to the priesthood in his parish, and asked if I would be kind enough to advertise some of the initiatives they have introduced.
As I explained, I'm happy to do anything I can to promote vocations to the priesthood, and to support those who wish to promote them: remember, no priests means no sacraments, and therefore no Church.
First of all, there's the website. This is, I suspect, a "work in progress" as I couldn't get any further than the front page. Keep an eye on it, though, as it has great potential.
I was more interested in two other initiatives: The 31 Club and Friends of the Lamb.
The 31 Club is a simple enterprise: during the Year for Priests, members agree to attend Holy Mass on one day of the month (in addition to the normal Sunday obligation) where they pray for priests and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The idea is that you pick a date which is memorable for you. Eventually, all 31 days of the month are covered (hence the name.) I'm not sure what happens in any month where your date doesn't occur (eg. if you pick 31 and it's April), but presumably you can transfer it to another date - which is the advice given if you forget your selected date.
People who are sick or housebound are also encouraged to join: they are encouraged to offer up an hour of their daily suffering, say a rosary, or pick a prayer they can say without too much difficulty.
The Friends of the Lamb is a way for younger members of the parish to pray for priests. Children who have not yet made their First Holy Communion are asked to pray a Hail Mary on one day in the month (again, a particular date which they can remember.) Children who have made their First Holy Communion are asked to pray three Hail Marys. The children are also encouraged to tell the priest that they are praying for him each month. Once the children have been Confirmed, they are encouraged to join the 31 Club.
I think that these initiatives are a wonderful way of marking the Year for Priests.