Tag Archives: Spiritual Motherhood for Priests

Retreat Opportunities: Spiritual Motherhood Retreat

Sorrowful Mother antique prayer card Benziger

Mary, Mother of Priests, pray for all priests!

Next month, the Franciscan-Dominican Sister Servants of the Eternal Word in Birmingham, Alabama will be hosting a retreat on Spiritual Motherhood for Priests, called “Praying for Priests: A Vocational Call.” The retreat runs from October 28-30 and will be directed by Fr. Paul Pecchie, who I believe is responsible for promoting this apostolate of forming spiritual mothers here in the United States. To register or find out more information, click here.

I am planning to attend the retreat with several other women from my diocese, and I would love to know if any of you plan to be there as well!

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Little Flower Novena, Day 1

St. Therese of Lisieux

Ora pro nobis!

(Sorry this post is going up kind of late… I’ve been so tired this week that I had forgotten about posting the novena until Kolbe reminded me this afternoon.)

Starting today, a few friends and I will be praying the novena to St. Thérèse of Lisieux in honor of her upcoming feast on October 1. My specific intentions will be:

For struggling priests, particularly those who are in danger of abandoning their vocation. For all of the priests who are dear to my heart; for our Lord to increase in them the virtues of humility, faithfulness, and purity of heart. For the grace of perseverance to be given to all priests and seminarians. 

Please join us in begging the powerful prayers of the Little Flower for this or any other intention, and feel free to post intentions in the Comment Box.


Prayers To Be Said Each Day

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your love.
V.  Send forth Your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R.  And You shall renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray: O God, who have instructed the hearts of Your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant that by the gift of that same Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

O my God! I believe in You: strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You: do You secure them. I love You: teach me to love You daily more and more. Amen.

The Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Prayers for the First Day

St. Thérèse, privileged Little Flower of Jesus and Mary, I approach you with childlike confidence and deep humility. I lay before you my desires, and beg that through your intercession they may be realized. Did you not promise to spend your heaven doing good upon earth? Grant me according to this promise the favor(s) I am asking from you… [mention your intentions]

Intercede for us all the days of our life, but specially during this Novena and obtain for us from God the graces and favors we ask through your intercession. Amen.

Thought for the day: Confidence in God

We can never have too much confidence in the good God who is so powerful and so merciful. We obtain from Him as much as we hope for.

If you are nothing, do you forget that Jesus is everything? You have only to lose your nothingness in His Infinity and think only of loving Him.

Concluding Prayer Prayed Each Day

O Lord, You have said: unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven; grant us, we beg You, so to follow, in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the Virgin blessed Thérèse, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Amen.

Adapted from EWTN.com

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Novena for the Pope and for Priests: Day 9

The Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging Catholics to participate in prayer vigils for Pope Benedict XVI in honor of his 60th anniversary of ordination, which he celebrated on Wednesday. The faithful are being asked to pray not only for the Holy Father, but for all of the clergy and the entire Church. Last Thursday, I began posting a “novena” of my favorite prayers for priests – a different prayer each day. Please join me in praying for the pope and for all priests.


Another prayer for priests by St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I especially like this one because it allows me to repay some very small part of the tremendous debt I owe to the priests in my life, particularly those special few who have walked with me throughout my discernment. They have been true fathers to me – tough when I needed someone to challenge me, tender when I was suffering, firm when I needed counsel, and compassionate to me when I was struggling. Most of all, they’ve shown me the love of God the Father, and for that, I will never stop thanking God for them.

Stephen Golder, "I Am With You Always" (www.thesehandsbmj.com)

Stephen Golder, "I Am With You Always," from his collection These Hands Bring Me Jesus (www.thesehandsbmj.com)

St. Therese’s Prayer for All Priests

O Jesus, I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests; for Your unfaithful and tepid priests; for Your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Your tempted priests; for Your lonely and desolate priests; for Your young priests; for Your dying priests; for the souls of Your priests in purgatory.

But above all I recommend to You the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me, the priests who absolve me from my sins, the priests at whose Masses I have assisted and who gave me Your Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who have taught and instructed me; and all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way. Jesus, keep them all close to Your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

Lord, give us priests! Give us holy priests! Give us many holy priests!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

St. Joseph, Guardian of Vocations, pray for us!

All you angels and saints of God, pray for us!

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Novena for the Pope and for Priests: Day 8

The Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging Catholics to participate in prayer vigils for Pope Benedict XVI in honor of his 60th anniversary of ordination, which he celebrated yesterday. The faithful are being asked to pray not only for the Holy Father, but for all of the clergy and the entire Church. Last Thursday, I began posting a “novena” of my favorite prayers for priests – a different prayer each day. Please join me in praying for the pope and for all priests.


This is only one of several prayers for priests written by St. Thérèse of Lisieux, whose fervent love for the priesthood made her a powerful intercessor for priests.

St. Thérèse’s Prayer for Priests

St. Therese of LisieuxO Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart, where none may touch them. Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Your Sacred Body. Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Your Precious Blood. Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. Let Your holy love surround them and shield them from the world’s contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here, and in heaven their beautiful and everlasting crown. Amen.

Lord, give us priests! Give us holy priests! Give us many holy priests!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

St. Joseph, Guardian of Vocations, pray for us!

All you angels and saints of God, pray for us!

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Novena for the Pope and for Priests: Day 7

The Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging Catholics to participate in prayer vigils for Pope Benedict XVI in honor of his 60th anniversary of ordination, which he celebrates today. The faithful are being asked to pray not only for the Holy Father, but for all of the clergy and the entire Church. Last Thursday, I began posting a “novena” of my favorite prayers for priests – a different prayer each day. Please join me in praying for the pope and for all priests.


This prayer was written by the late Richard James Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston.

Prayer for the Spiritual Protection and Perseverance of Priests

O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Your Son and for love of Him, who is the Eternal  High Priest, have pity on your priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the bishop’s hands. Keep them close to You, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation. Amen.

Christ the High Priest icon

Christ the Great High Priest, written for the Year of the Priest by M. Czarnecki

Lord, give us priests! Give us holy priests! Give us many holy priests!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

St. Joseph, Guardian of Vocations, pray for us!

All you angels and saints of God, pray for us!

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Novena for the Pope and for Priests: Day 6

The Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging Catholics to participate in prayer vigils for Pope Benedict XVI in honor of his 60th anniversary of ordination, which he will celebrate tomorrow. The faithful are being asked to pray not only for the Holy Father, but for all of the clergy and the entire Church. Last Thursday, I began posting a “novena” of my favorite prayers for priests – a different prayer each day. Please join me in praying for the pope and for all priests.


The more I pray for priests, the more I find myself moved to pray especially for those priests who have left the priesthood, those whose souls are in danger, and those who are tempted to abandon their vocation.

Prayer for Priests in Times of Uncertainty

D. Velázquez, Christ on the Cross, 1632

D. Velázquez, Christ on the Cross, 1632

Lord Jesus Christ,
as you gazed down from the Cross in Your bitter agony
upon the beloved and faithful Apostle, Saint John,
Your anguish was increased
by the desertion of the traitor and the other Apostles.
In spite of this desertion, Your love embraced them
and all those consecrated men who would forsake You.
We, therefore confidently beseech You now
to rain abundant grace on shepherds who have gone astray.
Where there is present groping uncertainty, let there be light;
where there is present overshadowing gloom, let there be joy;
where there is present mounting struggle, let there be peace.
Guide, O Lord, the straying shepherds back to the fold,
and assist them to walk surely and lovingly in Your sight,
for only in union with You
will the shepherd find true light, joy and peace.
Give to all priests inspiration in time of doubt,
patience in time of adversity,
fortitude in time of weakness,
that with Your love ever pressing them on,
they may lead others ever closer to You. Amen.

Lord, give us priests! Give us holy priests! Give us many holy priests!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

St. Joseph, Guardian of Vocations, pray for us!

All you angels and saints of God, pray for us!

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Novena for the Pope and for Priests: Day 5

The Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging Catholics to participate in prayer vigils for Pope Benedict XVI as he prepares to celebrate his 60th anniversary of ordination on June 29. The faithful are being asked to pray not only for the Holy Father, but for all of the clergy and the entire Church. Last Thursday, I began posting a “novena” of my favorite prayers for priests – a different prayer each day. Please join me in praying for the pope and for all priests.


St. Jean Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests. Through his prayer and sacrifice and the example of his personal holiness, he transformed the lukewarm parish of Ars into a thriving community of faith visited by tens of thousands of pilgrims each year.

Prayer for Priests to St. Jean Vianney

Dear Saint Jean Vianney, your childhood dream was to be a priest, to win souls for God. You endured years of toil and humiliation to attain the priesthood. You became a priest truly after God’s own heart, outstanding in humility, poverty, prayer and mortification, totally devoted to the service of God’s people. The Church has exalted you as model and patron saint of all parish priests, trusting that your example and prayers will help them to live up to the high dignity of their vocation to be faithful servants of God’s people, to be perfect imitators of Christ the Savior, Who came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

Pray that God may give to His Church today many more priests after His own heart. Pray for all the priests under your patronage, that they may be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd. May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance. May they be examples of humility and poverty, shining models of holiness, tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God, zealous dispensers of God’s grace in the sacraments. May their loving devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary His Mother be the twin fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry. Amen.

Lord, give us priests! Give us holy priests! Give us many holy priests!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

St. Joseph, Guardian of Vocations, pray for us!

All you angels and saints of God, pray for us!

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Novena for the Pope and for Priests: Day 4

The Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging Catholics to participate in prayer vigils for Pope Benedict XVI as he prepares to celebrate his 60th anniversary of ordination on June 29. The faithful are being asked to pray not only for the Holy Father, but for all of the clergy and the entire Church. On Thursday, I began posting a “novena” of my favorite prayers for priests – a different prayer each day. Please join me in praying for the pope and for all priests.


St. Charles Borromeo was called the “Father of the Clergy” because of his tireless work for the spiritual reform of the clergy and his incredible talent for leadership. Among the posts he held over the course of his 46 years: abbot, prior, protonotary apostolic participantium, referendary of the papal court, bishop, archbishop, cardinal, prefect, apostolic administrator, papal legate, Vatican secretary of state, legate a latere, president of the commission for the Roman Catechism, vicar general of all Italy, governor (of several Italian cities), and protector of the Swiss Catholic cantons. He was also given what I presume were the honorary titles of “count” and “prince” and was made an honorary citizen of Rome. (Seriously – this guy has got to have the most impressive curriculum vitae I’ve ever seen!)

Stephen Golder, Body of Christ (These Hands Bring Me Jesus)

Stephen Golder, "Body of Christ" (www.thesehandsbmj.com)

St. Charles Borromeo’s Prayer for Priests

O Holy Mother of God, pray for the priests your Son has chosen to serve the Church. Help them, by your intercession, to be holy, zealous, and chaste. Make them models of virtue in the service of God’s people. Help them to be pious in meditation, efficacious in preaching, and zealous in the daily offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Help them to administer the sacraments with love and joy. Amen.

Lord, give us priests! Give us holy priests! Give us many holy priests!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

St. Joseph, Guardian of Vocations, pray for us!

All you angels and saints of God, pray for us!

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Novena for the Pope and for Priests: Day 3

The Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging Catholics to participate in prayer vigils for Pope Benedict XVI as he prepares to celebrate his 60th anniversary of ordination on June 29. The faithful are being asked to pray not only for the Holy Father, but for all of the clergy and the entire Church. On Thursday, I began posting a “novena” of my favorite prayers for priests – a different prayer each day. Please join me in praying for the pope and for all priests.


This prayer was written by the late John Joseph Cardinal Carberry, Archbishop of St. Louis. We recite it at my home parish before each weekday Mass, after praying the rosary for priests.

Prayer to Jesus the High Priest and Mary, Mother of Priests

Priest after ConsecrationO Jesus, our great High Priest, hear our humble prayers on behalf of your priests. Give them a deep faith, a bright and firm hope, and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of their priestly life. In their loneliness, comfort them. In their sorrows, strengthen them. In their frustrations, point out to them that it is through suffering that the soul is purified,and show them that they are needed by the Church; they are needed by souls; they are needed for the work of redemption.

O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your sons who are close to you because of their priestly ordination, and because of the power which they have recieved to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs them so much. Be their comfort; be their joy; be their strength; and especially help them to live and defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy. Amen.

Lord, give us priests! Give us holy priests! Give us many holy priests!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

St. Joseph, Guardian of Vocations, pray for us!

All you angels and saints of God, pray for us!

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Novena for the Pope and for Priests: Day 2

The Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging Catholics to participate in prayer vigils for Pope Benedict XVI as he prepares to celebrate his 60th anniversary of ordination on June 29. The faithful are being asked to pray not only for the Holy Father, but for all of the clergy and the entire Church. Yesterday, I began posting a “novena” of my favorite prayers for priests – a different prayer each day. Please join me in praying for the pope and for all priests.


Revered as a Doctor of the Church, a counsellor to two popes, a stigmatist and mystic, St. Catherine of Siena was a woman acutely aware of what it meant to be conformed to the image of her Crucified Spouse. She is often depicted holding a crucifix and contemplating the Wounds of Christ.

St. Catherine’s Prayer for Priests

Catherine of SienaFather, I beseech You, direct the hearts and wills of the servants of Your Bride, the Holy Church, unto Yourself, so that they may follow the poor, bleeding, humble, and gentle Lamb of God on the Way of the Cross. Make them angels in the shape of men! For after all, it is they who must administer and distribute the Body and Blood of Your Only Begotten Son. Amen.

Lord, give us priests! Give us holy priests! Give us many holy priests!

Mary, Mother of Vocations, pray for us!

St. Joseph, Guardian of Vocations, pray for us!

All you angels and saints of God, pray for us!

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