Apostolate of Spiritual Motherhood for the Sanctification of Priests 
in the Archdiocese of St. Louis

“If the desired renewal of the Church depends for the most part on its priests,

then it will also depend to a large degree on the families and in particular women and mothers.”

– Pope St. John Paul II, Address on May 4, 1987 


Out of ardent love for the ministerial priesthood, a woman called by the Holy Spirit to spiritual motherhood for priests surrenders herself totally to the love of God and offers up all her prayers, works, joys and suffering so priests may be spiritually assisted to joyfully embrace their own self-offering, overcome temptations, and desire only to do the will of the Father, and thus be holy and faithful representatives of Christ as head, shepherd and spouse of the Church.

Spiritual maternity is a hidden vocation within a vocation for women in every state of life – single, married, lay or consecrated religious – who strive to imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary's virtues and special maternity for priests, and to focus their lives on the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus inseparably linked to the Priesthood.

Each woman is encouraged to have a particular priest spiritually entrusted to her, beseeching the Sacred Heart of Jesus to shower many signal graces upon his ministry. To this end, in the Archdiocese of St. Louis we have a Spiritual Adoption Program set up to assign an anonymous St. Louis priest to women who choose to enroll as a spiritual mother for a priest with us.

Although not a requirement, we invite all women to participate in our weekly Holy Hour for the Sanctification of Priests and an hour of formation in spiritual motherhood. If you cannot attend, please unite with us in spirit where ever you are (and download our weekly prayers).  If you are inspired to start a weekly prayer group at your parish, we are happy to assist you. If you live outside of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, please consider starting your own holy hour and spiritual adoption program for priests in your area. Again, we offer our help.


The inspiration for this apostolate is the
Congregation for the Clergy's Booklet:


Eucharistic Adoration
for the Sanctification of Priests
and Spiritual Maternity
“The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, 
scarcely understood and, consequently, rarely lived, notwithstanding its fundamental importance.... meant to transmit spiritual life.”
- Claudio Cardinal Hummes and Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, p.12

Free PDF (2007 edition) available on the Congregation for Clergy website  OR  hard copies of the 2012 edition can be ordered from:  Roman Catholic Books  Phone: (970) 490-2735
Are YOU called to Spiritual Motherhood for Priests?

You might have a call to Spiritual Motherhood if:

  • You feel a persistent desire to pray for the strengthening and consolation of priests, in union with Mary.
  • You have quietly dedicated yourself to offering your daily sacrifices, works and suffering to sanctify priests.
  • Your heart is pierced whenever a priest or the priesthood is denigrated.
  • Your spirit rejoices in gratitude for good, holy priests who courageously lead their flocks to Christ.

What to do if you believe you are called to Spiritual Motherhood for Priests:

  • Pray daily for priests – especially in Eucharistic Adoration, at Mass and while reading Scripture. Some options for specific prayers include the Morning Offering for Priests, Rosary,  and Divine Mercy Chaplet.
  • Offer sacrifices, penances, daily duties and works of mercy in union with Jesus, as reparation for priests. 
  • Live a sacramental life, i.e. Masses offered up for holy vocations, and frequent Confession.
  • Spiritually and anonymously adopt a priest  assigned by us or one of your own choosing.
  • Contact us and visit our prayer group on Thursdays.  Or start a prayer group in your area.
  • Sign up for our Emails to receive weekly priest lists, prayers and notices of upcoming events.
  • Encourage other women to pray for priests as spiritual mothers and consider adopting a priest.