By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
A number of women who have committed to pray anonymously for a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon were recently commissioned and blessed during Sunday Mass at four parishes: Immaculate Heart of Mary, Martensville; St. Augustine, Humboldt; Our Lady of Lourdes, Saskatoon; and St. Francis Xavier, Saskatoon.
The new apostolate, known as Spiritual Motherhood of Priests, is open to all women – single, married, widowed, or consecrated religious – who discern a call to pray and make sacrifices for the sanctification and support of an individual priest.
As part of the commissioning celebrations, each woman received a package containing the name of their “spiritual son,” along with prayer cards and materials.
The prayer of the new “spiritual mothers” during the commissioning celebration included: “Heavenly Father, please protect our priest-sons from every evil. May you give them holy boldness to proclaim the Gospel in truth and the courage and wisdom to live out their call to the priesthood in faithfulness, holiness and humility. May their life be a living icon of Jesus Christ so that through humility, purity and charity, they will reveal Jesus to others by their shining example of a holy, simple, and joyful life.”
The apostolate requires five commitments on the part of the women: weekly Eucharistic adoration; prayers for their “priest son” each day; frequent celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation; anonymity (not divulging for whom they are praying); and a promise to pray for that priest for the rest of their lives.
“The women in the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests apostolate enter into a permanent, life-long relationship that does not end even when their priest passes away; his spiritual mother will continue to pray for his soul as long as she lives,” says Jacqueline Saretsky, diocesan coordinator of the new apostolate.
Praying for priests is not new, but the practise received a new focus after the Congregation of the Clergy published a document called Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity on Dec. 8, 2007, approved by Pope Benedict XVI, which invited laywomen to adopt priests as their spiritual sons and to pray for them constantly, particularly before the Blessed Sacrament.
“As part of the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests, women try to imitate our Blessed Mother Mary, the first mother of priests, in her humility and sacrifice,” describes Saretsky.
The Spiritual Motherhood of Priests is an ongoing apostolate, with more women needed to pray for other priests in the diocese, she adds.
For more information about the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests, contact Jacqueline Saretsky by e-mail to email@example.com or phone (306) 659-5839.