ADOPT A PRIEST PROGRAM
- for Women
ADOPT A PRIEST PROGRAM
- for women called to be spiritual mothers
If you have discerned a call to be a spiritual mother for priests, you can have an anonymous St. Louis priest assigned to you as a spiritual son. When you Sign Up online here, you can also specify the level of involvement you wish to have with our apostolate. If you cannot sign up online, you can contact us by email or phone. We will then notify you of the priest assigned to you, identified by a number. If, at any time in the future, you can no longer keep your personal commitment to pray and do penance for this priest, we ask that you inform us so we can reassign him.
This spiritual adoption program was launched on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, June 27th, 2014, for the glory of God and the sanctification of all priests.
"I imagine my special priest in his cassock kneeling before Our Blessed Sacrament
with Our Blessed Mother on one side of him and St Joseph on the other
when I pray my daily rosary for him and all our priests. I’ve named him Augustine.
My husband and I lost our unborn child in 1980 and my OB/GYN named him Augustine.
It’s almost like I’m truly praying for my son with my adopted priest."
- note from a spiritual mother who adopted an anonymous priests
Q: I already pray for certain priests. If I adopt one here, how will that work?
A: God loves a generous soul! Do not hesitate out of concern about dividing your prayers among too many. When you add another priest to your prayer list, Our Lord will multiply your selfless offerings into abundant nourishment for all the priest souls He inspires you to care for, console, strengthen and protect. In union with Mary, Mother of Priests, we receive the grace to carry all priests in our hearts.
Q: What commitments are involved in adopting a local priest through this apostolate?
A: To adopt a priest through our apostolate, there are no required dues, meetings or specific prayers. Any woman with a heart to spiritually support priests should strive to live a life of virtue and simplicity, dedicated to the Lord and involving daily prayer, particularly Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass. We encourage frequent participation in the sacraments (Mass and Reconciliation). For our adopted priest sons, we offer up our daily works, joys, and sufferings as well as our prayers.
Any woman is welcome to join our weekly Holy Hour for Priests or to start a spiritual motherhood prayer group for priests in your parish or deanery. You are also invited to our annual prayer event in June on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart (date varies each year), as well as other occasional Mornings With Mary, Mother of Priests throughout the year, or retreats on spiritual maternity for priests. See Events.
Q: Why assign priests anonymously? Why not choose whom to adopt?
A: Women called to this apostolate already pray for their special priest friends, pastors and bishops. But the two-sided anonymity of our adoption program provides several benefits to both the adopting spiritual mothers and the priests of St. Louis:
+ Anonymous assignment allows all priests of the St. Louis Archdiocese to be equally "covered in prayer".
+ Anonymity assists spiritual mothers to grow in the virtue of detachment, keeping our eyes on Christ.
+ Anonymity helps avoid temptation to pride or discouragement about any particular priest.
+ Not knowing the identities of our adopted priests encourages us to love and care for each and every priest.
Q: I adopted a priest. Now what? / How should I pray for my priest son?
A: If we want holy priests, then we, too, must strive for holiness. Then as intercessors, we can offer every aspect of our day - our duties, prayers, trials, renunciations - in union with our priest sons. In our trials, we can turn our minds to the times that our adopted priest son, or any priest, might experience a similar hardship.
The most important ways to support our priests are to
1) be Eucharist-centered, frequenting Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, or making spiritual communions;
2) conform ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus's first disciple and model of virtue; and
3) renew daily our fiat "yes" to the Holy Spirit, her Spouse, and allow Him to guide our intercessions for our priest sons. Learn to listen to the Holy Spirit in your time of quite prayer, at adoration and during the Eucharistic prayer at Mass. The Holy Spirit is our best teacher and sanctifies us so we can be pure channels of nourishment to other souls, especially our priests. Consecrate yourself to the Holy Spirit each day.
We honor each woman’s unique gifts and primary vocation in life and hesitate to give too many criteria for living out your spiritual adoption of a priest. Therefore we simply encourage the following:
Unite your heart with Mary, the saints and all others who intercede for priests. We never pray alone.
Be devoted to your daily duties, learning how to offer all mundane tasks as a prayer, with joy and love for Jesus. Love and serve God in all your relationships, especially in your family.
Seek to grow in holiness and virtue by making use of regular sacramental confession, and by seeking wise counsel from trusted spiritual friends, confessors or spiritual directors.
Learn to offer emotional, physical and spiritual sufferings in union with Jesus crucified, for the spiritual life of others, especially priests.
Daily, say one special prayer of your choosing for your adopted priest and for all priests.
We also hope to encourage all priests by humbly thanking them for their priestly service and by showing generous receptivity to the gifts they offer to us, especial the Eucharist and sacramental confession. Never gossip about a priest. Persevere in prayer for priests, especially for those who are most in need of Jesus’s grace, those who are "wounded in their souls and for those exposed to the attacks of the powers of darkness.”