Assisting the Clergy
Another facet of our charism is the accompaniment of the priest throughout his life. Our ministry of prayer and pastoral presence extends from the young man who is in vocational discernment to the priest who moves into retirement and even afterwards in death, we continue to pray for those priests whom nobody prays for, those who we have know and whom have ministered with such dedication.
From there, we pray for priestly and religious vocations, help them in their growth and development, assist and accompany the presbyters in the exercise of their ministry, in times of suffering and pain, in their old age and in other difficult situations. A concrete response to the ecclesial situation of the priesthood in Ireland was the opening of a hospitality centre (Bethany House) on our premises in Dublin for priests who want to take time out from a chaotic schedule to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, to make a retreat or to rest. Others are diocesan priests who need a strong network of prayer, community and accompaniment so as to overcome a difficult moment of their life and priestly ministry. The same welcome is extended also in our PDDM Community in Athlone.
In our communities, we strive to create a modern-day Bethany, a place of spiritual restoration so as to continue the journey. Others are with us on short or long term basis as they pass through moments of difficulty. Today more than ever, there is such a need for this mission to walk with our priests who have lost hope or feel the heaviness of parish life.
Throughout the night of the first Wednesday of the month, our Sisters pray throughout the night, offering their prayers before the Blessed Sacrament for the intentions of all our priests. It usually concludes then with Mass at 8pm on the First Thursday of the month. We hope to get back to the Night Vigils soon but during these COVID times, we ask you to join with us in prayer from your homes. We always pray this pray at the end of the monthly vigil and invite you to pray it especially for those priests who find life very difficult, may be struggling with their vocation, or hopeless about the future:
A Prayer for Priests:
Lord Jesus, you have chosen your priests from among us and sent them out to proclaim your word and to act in your name. For so great a gift to your Church, we give you praise and thanksgiving. We ask you to fill them with the fire of your love, that their ministry may reveal your presence in the Church. Since they are earthen vessels, we pray that your power shine out throught their weakness. In their afflictions let them never be crushed; in their doubts never despair; in temptation never be destroyed; in persecution never abandoned. Inspire them through prayer to live each day the mystery of your dying and rising. In times of weakness send them your Spirit, and help them to praise your heavenly Father and pray for poor sinners. By the same Holy Spirit put your words on their lips and your love in their hearts, to bring good news to the poor and healing to the brokenhearted. And may the gift of Mary your mother, to the disciple whom you loved, be your gift to every priest. Grant that she who formed you in her human image, may form them in your divine image, by the power of your Spirit, to the glory of God the Father.
Taken from www.intercessionforpriests.org