Sometimes it’s really difficult to decide upon just the right anniversary gift. However, I think our readers will agree that the following recommendation from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the upcoming 60th anniversary of Pope Benedict’s priestly ordination–Eucharistic adoration for priestly vocations–is right on the money.
Church to Observe Pope’s 60th Anniversary of Ordination June 29th
WASHINGTON (May 26, 2011)—Catholics worldwide are asked to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s ordination to the priesthood with sixty hours of Eucharistic prayer for vocations.
The pope will celebrate his anniversary June 29, the Solemnity of St. Peter and Paul. In honor of his anniversary, the Vatican Congregation for Clergy suggested Catholic clergy and faithful be invited to participate in Eucharistic Adoration with the intention of praying for the sanctification of the clergy and for the gift of new and holy priestly vocations.
Dioceses nationwide are planning special prayers before the Blessed Sacrament in June, offered continuously or across various days in the month. Celebrations might conclude July 1, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for Priests.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, highlighted the importance of this celebration.
“An increase in number and sanctity of the priests in service to our dioceses is a sign of health and vitality in the Church,” he said. Prayer for vocations is “a worthy intention” and an appropriate spiritual sacrifice “in gratitude for the example and service of Pope Benedict XVI,” he wrote in a May 17 letter to bishops.
For this occasion, the USCCB Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations has designed a prayer card that can be downloaded from www.foryourvocation.org. The prayer card can be linked to diocesan or parish websites, printed in parish bulletins, and used for dioceses or parishes.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to give thanks for our Holy Father, to pray for all of our priests, and to ask the Lord for more vocations to the priesthood,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, chairman for the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “The Holy Father has been an outstanding model of priestly ministry and service to the Church. In his Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Proposing Vocations in the Local Church, he reminded the faithful that we all have a responsibility to pray for vocations. This is a great opportunity to do just that.”
Dioceses and parishes are asked to share information on how they are celebrating the anniversary in prayer by sending their information to firstname.lastname@example.org.