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Ink Slingers Karen Prayer Priesthood Vocations

Praying for Our Priests

Recently two reports were made public by the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference. In one, the results of a survey are presented claiming a disparity between the realities that families face and the teaching of the Catholic Church. In another separate survey results report, it was discovered that an estimated 58% of priests in Germany pray every day and 54% go to confession no more than once per year.Pray for Our Priests

When I first read this, I was floored. It hadn’t honestly occurred to me that it could be a common thing for a priest to not go to confession frequently or not even pray every day. But as I thought about it, I wasn’t all too shocked. Priests are human too and in need of prayer like the rest of us. But unlike the rest of us, they have a responsibility to morally guide hundreds or thousands of individuals and the onslaught of cultural sins that can’t help but to seep into every individual’s life of which priests are not immune cannot help matters. They are perpetually hit with their own and everyone else’s sins daily. And yet, they are expected to keep on; faithful and strong, they must lead the flock. Can any of us do this?

There has been more than one study that linked the likelihood of success in religious formation and practice by children into adulthood with the faithfulness and encouragement of their mothers and fathers. It’s pretty simple- if your mom and dad pray every day and attend Mass, chances are you will too. The same goes for our priests- our spiritual fathers. If our priests are strong, faith filled, and practicing the sacraments, it will resonate in how their flock worships.

In the words of St. John Vianney, “Without the priest, the passion and death of our Lord would be of no avail. It is the priest who continues the work of redemption here on earth…What use would be a house filled with gold, were there no one to open its door? The priest holds the key to the treasures of heaven: it is he who opens the door: he is the steward of the good Lord; the administrator of His goods…Leave a parish for twenty years without a priest and they will end by worshiping the beasts there..The priest is not a priest for himself, he is a priest for you.”

Our parents who pray and go to Mass also go to their priests for guidance. But who do our priests have here on Earth to turn to for guidance, other than other priests? No one. As such it is no small wonder that they can become weary, complacent, or deal with spiritual dryness.  And when that happens, it seeps into the life and vitality of the church family they minister to.  Often people approach their parish priest for only two things: to get a sacrament or to get spiritual direction in a time of crisis. How often are they approached to be told what a blessing they are to their community? Or how they are appreciated for standing up for life or for having such a reverence for the Eucharist? How can we expect our parish priest to stay strong and resilient in spite of cultural norms and wayward and complaining parishioners without any encouragement or prayer on their behalf? It seems an unreasonably high expectation, and though they have taken on the vocation of the priesthood, and to some extent this situation is par for the course, it is good for the laity to charitably attempt to reduce some of those more bitter aspects.

So, what can we do for our priests to strengthen them, encourage them, and help remind them how what they do is for the greater glory of God and actually is accomplishing something?

Try doing some of the following to support your own parish priest:

-The priesthood is the love of the heartPray for your priest

Start a novena for the priesthood and seminarians

Invite your parish priest over for dinner

Compliment your priest after Mass about something they said during the homily that made you think

Praise your priest for standing up for life and Church teaching

Thank your priest for the reverence they have in the consecration and distribution of the Eucharist

Write them an anonymous card

Write a thank you note after getting helpful spiritual direction to let them know what a blessing their wisdom has been for you and your family

These are just a few things we as the faithful laity can do to support and encourage our priests!

What else can you suggest we do to show our priests how important they are in our lives?

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Feast Days Homeschool Ink Slingers Martina Raising Saints Resources Saints Your Handy-Dandy List

Your Handy-Dandy List to All Things All Saints Day!

Just the other day, my kiddos came home with a sheet from their faith formation classes that outlined some great ideas for dressing as a saint for All Saints Day! Whether your family celebrates Halloween, or you are craft challenged or you have just plain dropped the ball on costumes this year, this is the post for you!

Have any favorite links or perhaps you have written a post on this very topic? Share with us in the comboxes below!

FOR THE CRAFT SAVVY: If you are a fan of all things crafty, see the bottom for a list of external resources to help you come up with something fun for All Saints and/or Halloween.

MARY

WHO: Mother of God

DETAILS: white dress and a blue shawl over the head and shoulders.

APOSTLES/FRIARS/MONK – for any saint that was an Apostle or monk,

DETAILS: Use an extra large men’s t-shirt, put a rope around the waist and put on some sandals. Use face paint for a beard. DONE!

KING/QUEEN – for any saint that was a king or queen, you can make a crown.

WHO: St. Queen Elizabeth of Hungary

DETAILS: She took bread to the poor and built a hospital and cared for the sick. Your little saint can carry a basket of bread or flowers.

WHO: King Louis IX of France

DETAILS: He was crowned at 12. Your little saint can hold a cross.

KNIGHT/ARMOR

WHO: St. Joan of Arc

WHO: St. George and the Dragon

WHO: St. Michael the Archangel

DETAILS: They can all wear armor. For St. Michael, you can make wings of cardboard and put tin foil over them and staple elastic to put them over the shoulders.

NUNS – Use a black dress or skirt or use a men’s black t-shirt. Your little saint can put a square of black material over her head as a veil, and wear a crucifix or cross.

WHO: St. Brigid of Ireland

DETAILS: Often pictured holding a lamp or candle, she began life as a slave and heard St. Patrick preach.

WHO: St. Therese of Lisieux, France – the little flower/child of Jesus.

DETAILS: She was a Carmelite at the age of 15. At age eight, she was healed from an illness when a statue of the Virgin Mary smiled at her. Your little saint can wear a brown habit hand out roses to people, as St. Therese is known to have promised to shower the earth with roses from heaven.

PRIESTS

WHO: St. John Bosco

DETAILS: He founded the Salesians to work with and educate boys, and wore a black cassock. Your little saint can wear a large black t-shirt with a white turtleneck underneath.

WHO: St. John Vianney

DETAILS: A known confessor and preacher from France.

MEXICAN INDIAN

WHO: Saint Juan Diego

DETAILS: He saw Our Lady of Guadalupe and wore a tilma. Your little saint can wear a burlap sack or dark colored towel and tie it loosely around the neck.

FANCY: Print up an iron on picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and iron it to the towel or burlap sack for added effect.

PRISONER

WHO: St. Maximilian Kolbe

DETAILS: blue striped prison uniform and glasses. He was a priest who was killed by Nazis during WWII

HOLY MEN & WOMEN

WHO: St. Dominic Savio

DETAILS: Born in Italy, he died at age 15. He was studying to be a priest and is the patron saint of boys, altar boys and choirboys. He is pictured in a white dress shirt, bow tie, vest, and jacket or as an altar boy.

WHO: St. Veronica {who wiped the face of Jesus}

DETAILS: Your little saint can wear a dress or man’s t-shirt tied at the waist, sandals, and carrying her veil

FANCY: You can attach a picture of Jesus to the veil using glue or an iron-on transfer

HALO

Use gold pipe cleaners to bend into halos to put on any saint! Or use bendable wired ribbon to make a halo. These are available from any craft store. Party and toy stores carry halos, too.

GALLERY – And now for the cute kiddies portion of the post! Scroll at your discretion and be inspired by these fun costumes!

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The venerable Fulton Sheen
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St. Vincent de Paul
St. Therese of Lisieux
St. Therese of Lisieux
A crusader, St. Francis, Noah and the Venerable Vincent Capadano
A crusader, St. Francis, Noah and the Venerable Vincent Capadano
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Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist – Sr. Elizabeth Ann, little sister, Sr. Jude Andrew and Sr. Mary Elizabeth.
North American Martyrs: St. Jean de LaLande & St. Isaac Jogues.
North American Martyrs: St. Jean de LaLande & St. Isaac Jogues.
St. Isidore the Farmer and St. Dominic Savio
St. Isidore the Farmer and St. Dominic Savio
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Perfect for a knight, this is made from felt and ribbon!
Perfect for a knight, this is made from fabric squares and ribbon!

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Noah and his Ark
Noah and his Ark
Saint Therese
Saint Therese
Saint Joseph
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St. Joan of Arc, Clare as St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

MORE RESOURCES

Arts & Crafts:

Educational:

Games:

For even more ideas visit Raising {& Teaching} Little Saints’s A Colossal Set of Resources on All Saints Day