In hoping to share my personal support, I spent the last weekend of May in Kentucky at the Fathers of Mercy to celebrate the Ordination of my friends, Fr. Ricardo to the priesthood and Br. John to the diaconate. Fr. Tony Stevens, CPM, Vocations Director, wrote a great article on vocations for this blog a couple months back.
The Fathers of Mercy are a missionary order. They send their priests out to preach around this country and abroad. Currently, they are also stationed at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Wisconsin. They are a great group of men committed to the priesthood and bringing the Gospel message out to the world. With another four brothers in seminary, this group is actively growing. (Be sure to check them out!)
For Corpus Christi weekend, I headed out to Chicago to another Ordination at the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. Another friend, Fr. Robin, was ordained to the priesthood and three others—Brothers Kevin, Nathan and Joshua were raised to the order of deacon. It was an incredible privilege to be there.
The Canons Regular are dedicated to the restoration of the sacred. They are a new order, founded in 1998 by Fr. C. Frank Phillips, C.R., with the approval of Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., and the approval of the Congregation of the Resurrection. (The image above is of Francis Cardinal George at St. John Cantius, Chicago, IL). They currently have charge of two parishes in Illinois— St. John Cantius in Chicago and St. Peter in Volo. The order has an additional seven brothers in seminary. If you love a reverent liturgy with beautiful sights and sounds, this is the place for you!
I consider it a great gift from God to know these new priests and deacons personally. As a single Catholic, I have the ability to travel to attend these wonderful Ordination celebrations. In this way, I can show my support for these men who are giving the ultimate gift to our Lord and our Church. In turn, I receive a gift of my own—a friendship and an experience which helps keep the Church alive in my heart.
I believe that we need to support one another in the living of our vocations, regardless of what they are, because we are all part of the Body of Christ. We need the encouragement from one another to follow God’s will as we actively work to make the right choices in this difficult culture we live in.
Building up the Church is the responsibility of all of its members—priests, religious and laity. As an active member of the laity, I take my job pretty seriously.
If you are considering a call to the priesthood, or if you are a single Catholic just looking to learn more about your faith, I encourage you to check out these two incredible orders. And if you are lucky enough to live by either one of them, be sure to stop over for Mass and tell them that Heather at CatholicMatch sent you!