Tag Archives: Apostleship of Prayer

Holy Souls

Let’s once again unite our prayers this month with those of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are the Holy Father’s intentions for November 2011, as published by the Apostleship of Prayer:

Eastern Catholic Churches. That the Eastern Catholic Churches and their venerable traditions may be known and esteemed as a spiritual treasure for the whole Church.

Justice and Reconciliation in Africa. That the African continent may find strength in Christ to pursue justice and reconciliation as set forth by the Second Synod of African Bishops.

Since the 16th century, Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. As a reminder of our duty to pray for those in Purgatory, the Church has dedicated the month of November to the Holy Souls.

The Holy Souls in Purgatory are those who have died in the state of grace but who are not yet free from all punishment due to their unforgiven venial sins and all other sins already forgiven for which satisfaction is still to be made. They are certain of entering Heaven, but first they must undergo purification.

The Holy Souls cannot help themselves because for them the night has come, when no man can work (John 9:4). It is our great privilege as their brothers and sisters in Christ that we can shorten their time of separation from God by our prayers, good works, and, especially, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

North American Martyrs

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. Today we remember and celebrate the planting of the Church in North America through the martyrdom of the Jesuit martyrs Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, and companions. In honor of these true heroes of the faith, enjoy this short video with Fr. James Kobicki, S.J. of the Apostleship of Prayer.

May the courage of these martyrs, rooted in the love of God, inspire us to live wholeheartedly for Christ today, and to offer our own sufferings in union with Christ for the life of the world.

October Prayers

Let’s once again unite our prayers this month with those of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are the Holy Father’s intentions for October 2011, as published by the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Terminally Ill. That the terminally ill may be supported by their faith in God and the love of their brothers and sisters.
  • World Mission Day. That the celebration of World Mission Day may foster in the People of God a passion for evangelization with the willingness to support the missions with prayer and economic aid for the poorest Churches.

October is also the month of the Holy Rosary, and the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (formerly known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory, in memory of the Battle of Lepanto) on October 7th.

If we don’t already do so, why not offer our Rosaries this month for the intentions recommended by the Holy Father?

Prayer Intentions

Let’s once again unite our prayers this month with those of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are the Holy Father’s intentions for September 2011, as published by the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Teachers. That all teachers may know how to communicate the love of truth and instill authentic moral and spiritual values.
  • Church in Asia. That the Christian communities of Asia may proclaim the Gospel with fervor, witnessing to its beauty with the joy of faith.

In addition, as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11 this month, may we also pray for a new outpouring of healing, mercy, and peace throughout the world. Check out the USCCB website for resources for parish and diocesan observances of the anniversary.

Priests After the Heart of Jesus

Let’s once again unite our prayers this month with those of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are the Holy Father’s intentions for June 2011, as published by the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Priests.  That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses to the caring and merciful love of God. 
  • Missionary Vocations.  That the Holy Spirit may bring forth from our communities many missionaries who are ready to be fully consecrated to spreading the Kingdom of God.

All of us have a role to play in the evangelistic, missionary activity of the Church, and a great way to start is by praying for these intentions each day!

Band of Jesuits

In the Fall 2010 issue of Jesuit Journeys, Jesuit Michael Rossmann describes his community’s new “Hearts on Fire” retreats for young adults. During the summer months, a group of young Jesuit  priests and scholastics travel from city to city, opening the treasures of Ignatian spirituality to eager audiences.

Some excerpts from Rossmann’s article:

“It was deeply exciting to share our spirituality. I did not completely recognize just how helpful the Spiritual Exercises and Ignatian spirituality were for people today until a retreatant expressed how she felt as if she were the only one in the room as we went through the ideas of consolation and desolation and Ignatius rules for discernment in that it was connecting with her on such a deep, personal level. . . .

“We targeted young adults in their 20s and 30s. Many expressed they had gone on retreats during high school and college but had not been to a retreat in a long time and had never encountered something like this.We shared the Spiritual Exercises and the spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer, and people found it remarkably fresh and relevant.

“Really, we were simply messengers. We discussed Ignatian contemplation, led them through a Gospel scene, and then gave them time to practice on their own–an experience many found deeply valuable and something that they could integrate into their own prayer lives. While we expressed this through our own voices with particular stories and insights from our own experiences, for the most part, we simply shared with others the immensely rich gifts that lie at the heart of our Jesuit spirituality. . . .

“There were four or five of us Jesuits there each weekend to give talks, play music, and lead prayer. . . . Not only did we have a blast hitting the road, but we grew in community and in our own vocations. And people saw this. It was illuminating to read many evaluations that noted our evident camaraderie and how this contributed to a great retreat atmosphere.”

Click here for a blog post by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J. of the Apostleship of Prayer on the “Hearts on Fire” retreats. And check out this vocation website for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Jesuits.

Praying with the Church

Let’s once again unite our prayers this month with those of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are the Holy Father’s intentions for May 2011, as published by the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Communication Media.  That those working in communication media may respect the truth, solidarity, and dignity of all people.
  • Church in China.  That the Lord may help the Church in China persevere in fidelity to the Gospel and grow in unity.

All of us have a role to play in the evangelistic, missionary activity of the Church, and a great way to start is by praying for these intentions each day!

Evangelizing the New Generations

Let’s once again unite our prayers this month with those of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are the Holy Father’s intentions for April 2011, as published by the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Evangelizing the New Generations.  That through its compelling preaching of the Gospel, the Church may give young people new reasons for life and hope.
  • Missionary Expansion.  That by proclamation of the Gospel and the witness of their lives, missionaries may bring Christ to those who do not yet know Him.

All of us have a role to play in the evangelistic, missionary activity of the Church, and a great way to start is by praying for these intentions each day.

Also, It just so happens that the national meeting of the Institute on Religious Life at the end of the month is focusing on the theme of using the new media for the new evangelization, as proclaiming Christ to a new generation is the perennial mission of the Church.

I hope you can join us for this fantastic conference. I’m especially interested in hearing the presentation by Tom Peterson, the founder of Catholics Come Home, one of the most dynamic “new evangelization” programs in the Church today.

Apostleship of Prayer

I always keep on my desk a leaflet from the Apostleship of Prayer, containing the Pope’s intentions for each month. It just dawned on me that this would be a most helpful thing to post at the beginning of each month.

It’s good to recall that all vocations come through the Church. They’re not about “doing our own thing.” Uniting ours prayers with those of the Holy Father and the universal Church is an excellent way to open ourselves to God’s personal call in our lives.

Before giving the Pope’s intentions for March (I’m almost a week late, so another few minutes won’t hurt anybody), I’d like to recommend two privileged times for remembering the Pope’s intentions:

First, there’s the Morning Offering, which is a great way to commit our day to the Lord:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and for all the intentions recommended by our Holy Father this month. Amen.

Second, there’s the family Rosary. At the beginning or end of the Rosary, to gain the indulgence for praying the Rosary–and again to manifest the unity of our prayer with that of the universal Church–it’s customary to pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the Pope’s intentions.

But what are the Pope’s intentions this month? Here they are:

Latin American Nations.  That the nations of Latin America may walk in fidelity to the Gospel and progress in justice and peace.

Persecuted Christians.  That the Holy Spirit may give light and strength to those in many regions of the world who are persecuted and discriminated against because of the Gospel.

I will post his intentions for subsequent months at the beginning of each month. In the meantime, check out the website of the Apostleship of Prayer for more information on this pious practice.