Nothing helps foster holy vocations to the priesthood and religious life like persistent prayer. God will absolutely provide the priests he needs. That is a guarantee and we walk boldly in that faith. Even so, we are all invited to help in this great mission of the Church by offering spiritual sacrifices and interceding for one another. So what should we be praying for? First of all, pray for the seminarians currently in formation. This is crucial for their discernment and they rely on your prayers. Pray for perseverance, for humility, for zeal, for obedience to God’s loving will. Second of all, pray for an increase in vocations. There’s no secret that we are in need of more priestly vocations across the country, so it is our Christian duty and honor to ask for what we need. Christ promises that whatever we ask in His name, we will receive from the Father.
If there is someone you think might have a vocation to the priesthood — Let them know! The gentle encouragement of a trusted friend or mentor can help someone see what God has been trying to tell them all along. Countless vocation stories would be different had it not been for the simple suggestion: “Have you ever considered going to seminary?” Families also play an indispensable role in encouraging their children to be open to holy vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Praying the rosary regularly as a family, frequenting Daily Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and cultivating a strong Catholic identity in and outside the home all go a tremendous way in equipping young people with the faith and virtue they need to respond freely and generously to the Lord’s call.
Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for these men whom You have called to discern priesthood. We beg Your continued blessings on our diocese and families. Call forth even more men of generous spirit and fervent love whom You desire for this holy work. Amen.
Jesús, oremos por estos hombres a quienes Tú has llamado a discernir la vocación Sacerdotal. Rogamos por Tus continuas bendiciones sobre nuestra diócesis y familias. Llama continuamente sin cesar a más hombres con espíritu generoso y amor ferviente para el servicio sacerdotal. Amén.
Frank Parater (1897-1920) was a Diocese of Richmond seminarian whose cause for canonization was opened by Bishop Walter F. Sullivan in 2001. Frank was born on October 10, 1897 and grew up in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood. He was baptized at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and was very active in the Boy Scouts of America, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. After being sent to the Pontifical North American College for his theological studies in November 1919, Frank Parater contracted rheumatic fever causing him a tremendous amount of suffering. He eventually died on February 7th, having written this beautiful Act of Oblation:
“I have nothing to leave or to give but my life and this I have consecrated to the Sacred Heart to be used as He wills… This is what I live for and, in case of death, what I die for… Since my childhood, I have wanted to die for God and neighbor. Shall I have this grace? I do not know, but if I go on living, I shall live for this same purpose.”
Let us ask for Frank Parater’s blessed intercession for our current seminarians and for all the men who are open to the Lord’s call to discern the priesthood!