The Parish Vocations Cross / Vocations Chalice
One visible way to unite the entire community in praying for priests and for an increase in vocations is to encourage all parishioners to participate in what has been called the Vocations Cross/Vocations Chalice programme (VC).
Of course it need not be either of the aforementioned. Some parishes may prefer to use a blessed statue of the Sacred Heart or Our Lady. In the States some people use a consecrated chalice. For ease of reference all these blessed items will henceforth be referred to as VC.
Each week at a particular Sunday Mass in some parishes the celebrant uses this VC. After purifying the chalice at the end of Communion, he calls a family or individual forward to receive this chalice or Vocations Cross.
They receive a blessing and then take the VC home where it is sited for the coming week in a place of honour. During the next seven days, the participants pray for an increase and perseverance of vocations. The following Sunday they return the chalice or Vocations Cross during the Mass with the gifts of bread and wine at the offertory procession.
For this ministry to be successful in your parish, you would obviously need your pastor’s approval.
Needless to say, he will not have time to be involved in the administration of this programme so a coordinator and deputy will be required who should then agree with the pastor as to what blessed item such as Cross, Chalice or Statue of Our Lord or the Blessed Virgin Mary would be acceptable for use in the parish.
The organisers will need to publicise the scheme by placing notices in the parish newsletter and by making an announcement (sermons would be better) at all Masses to encourage as many volunteers as possible to be involved. Parishioners, families or single people can confirm their participation by recording their name and telephone number on the sign-up sheets available as you leave the church. The telephone numbers may be useful in case of an emergency when someone might be unexpectedly absent due to illness, holiday, etc. Hopefully, the parish bulletin will from then onwards record each week the name of the family who has been nominated to collect the VC at the following Sunday’s mass.
Vocations Guide to Priesthood