Dear Parishioners of St. Joan of Arc and St. Thomas More,
In the not-too-distant future you will be seeing an article in the Catholic Voice concerning some needed prayers. The Archbishop is asking for prayers for vocations. He has obviously been asking for these all along, but this is different. Most of you started hearing about the problems of a priest shortage from me two years ago. Fr. Lorig has been sharing some of the statistics. Two years ago it was projected that we would probably have at least twenty less priests ten years from then. By my calculations, the first year of that countdown, we had a net loss of eleven priests. This year I estimate a net loss of four. We have no ordinations to the priesthood this year. Next year we will hopefully have two ordinations, one will be Minh Tran who spent a year and St. Thomas More. In two years we were hoping for three ordinations. Right now it looks like that is down to one. The Archbishop is realizing that the number of twenty could end up double that amount, so he is asking for our help.
On the day we would have had an ordination, Saturday, Jun 5th, he is going to have an hour of prayer and Eucharistic Adoration at the Cathedral in place of the ordination Mass. He is also asking others to have the same kind of adoration time in their parishes. He is also asking for a week of prayer leading up to that date. Parishes are encouraged to pick one day to during that week from Sunday, 5/30 to Saturday, 6/5 and dedicate it to prayers for vocations before the Blessed Sacrament.
I am hoping you will join me in doing our part in this project. We need the Holy Spirit to be working hard in our archdiocese or we will need to come up with an even more drastic plan for how priests will be working in years to come. After working with the STM Vocation Committee, here is the plan we have come up with.
St. Joan of Arc, which is one of the very few parishes in the Archdiocese of Omaha that has Eucharistic Exposition everyday, will have the fewest changes but the most opportunities for extra prayer. Throughout the whole week we ask people to come and pray to SJA and spend as much time before the Blessed Sacrament as possible, praying for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
At St. Thomas More Church there will be one day of focused prayer, Tuesday, Jun 1st. It will start with Exposition after the 7:00am Mass and end with Benediction and a special prayer service that I will lead from 9-10pm. On Saturday, June 5th, there will be a similar hour of prayer with Benediction at St. Joan of Arc from 10-11am, that I will also lead.
This time of prayer is for everyone. I really encourage families to participate. If the next generations do not understand that God might be calling them to serve Him, it becomes a roadblock to the work of the Holy Spirit. Please watch for more information in the Catholic Voice on the situation, and the hopes and prayers of the Archbishop.
God bless you all,
Fr. Frank, Senior Associate
Saint Thomas More will host a DAY OF PRAYER for Vocations on Tuesday, June 1st with Eucharistic Exposition and Adoration starting at 7:30am and continuing all day until the Benediction, which will run from 9:00pm – 10:00pm.
Sign up for an hour or more of adoration.