A few weeks ago, I looked ahead at our Elijah Cup schedule and saw that the May 3rd 9:00 Mass was still open. Perfect. Nothing better than bringing the Elijah Cup home on the Sunday designated as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In the many years my parish has participated in the Elijah Cup, this is only the second time I have signed up to bring it home. I’ve never needed to have it in order to remember to pray for vocations. We are asked to place it in a place of honor in our home.
I did this upon returning home; however, when the tornado warning siren went off in my county, I snatched it and the prayer book up and raced to my basement. While taking cover, with the cup clutched close to me, I browsed through the pages of the prayer journal that accompanies the cup. I actually found my prayer dated – 2/11/01 – where I wrote, “I ask the Lord to guide and bless those of our youth who may be discerning a religious call in their life.” It is indicative of my ministry at the time — Life Teen Core Team member. It was very short while many of the entries are longer. I was not yet fully professed with the Secular Franciscans. Here and there I find entries with men named who have been ordained to the permanent diaconate or the son of a parishioner who was in the seminary — now fully ordained to the priesthood. In the last year, I expanded my church family via the Internet and methods of new media. I met Fr. Roderick Vonhogen,a priest in Amersfoort, The Netherlands, who has to bicycle between Masses at various parishes — there are not enough priests. In the last year, I witnessed a friend’s ordination to the Transitional Diaconate. My daily vocation prayer has become a familiar routine. I do pray in general for a increase in vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate, and to religious life. I also pray specifically for my friend, for the Franciscan family — most especially for the OFM Conventual Friars of the St. Anthony of Padua Province and for an increase in vocations to their way of life. I pray specifically for Fr. Roderick and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood in The Netherlands. Fr. Roderick reminds me of the severe shortage of priests in many parts of the world. He shares so well and so honestly in many of his Daily Breakfast podcasts the challenges he faces. Here is one of Fr. Roderick’s episodes with a lengthy opening segment on vocations that I highly recommend. Daily Breakfast 612 – Vocations Click on arrow to play the MP3 file.
For Extra Credit: Fr. Roderick played some voice feedback I sent him in March about the Elijah Cup. I was responding to his episode on Vocations from the above link. Daily Breakfast 632 – Alien Potatoes click the arrow button to play the MP3 file. My feedback is near the beginning but the entire programs are usually around 27 minutes. You will enjoy the entire episode. Sometimes I’m in the chat room when he is live broadcasting the recording of his programs. I was in the chat room during this episode.