Vocations Guide to Priesthood
• When taking Holy Communion to the sick and homebound, encourage them to pray for priests and vocations.
• Where appropriate encourage them to offer one hour of their daily sufferings for priests and vocations (see following letter)
Sample letter to extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.
St Ambrose tells us that in the time of the Emperor Valerian the Prefect of Rome was aware that the Christians had many gold and silver vessels and since he was anxious to get his hands on them he ordered St Laurence who was one of seven deacons in the Roman Church to "Bring out these hidden treasures." Three days after receiving the order our saint congregated the blind, the frail, the infirm, the lame, the lepers, the maimed, the weak, the widows and orphans and placed them all in rows before the Prefect.
The official was outraged to see such an assembly and furiously enquired of Laurence what the meaning of such a spectacle was. Laurence replied "these are the treasures of the Church". This remark so infuriated the Prefect that he immediately condemned the martyr to death by slow execution over a gridiron. This was on 10th August 258 – exactly 1750 years ago.
In recent years Cardinal Tomasek, when recounting his experiences of many years in Communist prisons, said “It is a great thing to work for the interests of the Church and it is even better to pray for her but the greatest thing we can do is to suffer for the Church.” With this sentiment in mind I ask you personally to invite each of our very own parish "treasures" to whom you take Holy Communion to offer up one hour of their daily "sufferings" to Our Lord as their special gift to Him with the prayer that He increase the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life in our parish and country.
I enclose two types of prayer cards, namely, for our Sick and for our Senior Citizens in order that all the persons to whom you take Holy Communion may have the opportunity to join in this vital ministry of praying to the Lord of the Harvest for an increase in vocations. Please do not hesitate to ask for additional copies for distribution to these "special treasures." These persons through their prayers and sufferings generate great graces for our parish, so we would indeed be foolish if we failed to encourage our sick and housebound parishioners to join in our apostolate of praying for vocations.
I have also taken the liberty of enclosing details about our newly formed "St Therese Vocations Society" for distribution to any of "our treasures" who might like to participate in this ministry. Many thanks for your valued cooperation in helping to encourage vocations to the priesthood and religious life in our parish.
On behalf of the Parish Vocations Awareness Committee
Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion