Prayers for Priests

Ordination of Priests, Rome, 2008

Prayers for Priests is an important apostolate. It is founded by Charlotte Williams from Arizona.

Some years ago, Char had compiled a very small booklet of prayers, which included the Rosary for Priests (before the Luminous Mysteries were given to us). Shortly after the booklet was printed, there were priests in her diocese who experienced problems. For Char this pointed to the need for more prayers. The book was revised and the updated version contained 106 pages of prayers. The book is available at: http://radiofamilyrosary.com/radiofamilyrosary.html

About the same time, a website was created to include all the prayers from the book plus a few additional ones.

Through this website, www.prayersforpriests.com, prayers are offered for individual priests, be they in need of special support, such as in sickness, persecution or personal struggles or simply in thanksgiving for and celebration of their holy ministry. Prayers are also offered for the repose of the souls of priests who have died.

Anyone who wishes may sign up to become a “Prayer Warrior for Priests”. Prayer Warriors are emailed a weekly list from Char Williams’ site. Her site lists priests (bishops, cardinals and the Holy Father are also regularly included) deacons, seminarians and religious who have requested prayers or whose parishioners or friends have asked for prayers on their behalf.

All are welcome to submit names. First names and country/state of residence are all that is required (e.g. Father Paul from England). Each name remains on the list for four weeks unless a longer period is requested.

Char says: “We have people on our email list of Prayer Warriors for Priests from all over the world. It is really great hearing from them and listing the priests, brothers, deacons and religious for prayers. We also have a ‘prayersforpriests’ group at Yahoo.”

It is good to pray for those in the priesthood and religious life in general, but there is something beautiful and powerful about holding up an individual to the Lord for focused prayer.

You may also be interested in the following websites with which Char is involved:

radiofamilyrosaryphoenix.homestead.com/divinemercynovena.html
www.thebodyandbloodofchrist.com/index.html
www.ourladyofguadalupeprayers.com/index.html www.frschaeferhomilies.homestead.com/index.html

Your help in this apostolate would be greatly appreciated. You can provide this in any or all of the following ways:

  • Pray for Char and the expansion of this apostolate and spread the word;
  • Sign up to become a prayer warrior for priests;
  • Submit the names of priests for whom you would like special prayer support;
  • Pray daily for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and for our cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, seminarians and religious.

St. Faustina’s Prayer for Priests
“O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church: Grant it love and the light of Your Spirit, and give power to the words of Priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, O Lord. Lord, give us holy Priests; You yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares which are continually being set for the soul of Priests.
May the power of Your mercy, O Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of Priests, for You can do all things.”
St. Faustina’s Diary #1052

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10 Responses to Prayers for Priests

  1. The Raven says:

    I use this prayer after Mass to give thanks for the vocation and ministry of the celebrant and to seek Our Lord’s protection for him in his priestly vocation:

    Prayer for a Priest
    by Cardinal Carberry ( 1998) Archbishop of St. Louis 1968-1979

    O Jesus, our great High Priest,
    Hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priest [N.]
    Give him a deep faith
    a bright and firm hope
    and a burning love
    which will ever increase
    in the course of his priestly life.

    In his loneliness, comfort him
    In his sorrows, strengthen him
    In his frustrations, point out to him
    that it is through suffering that the soul is purified,
    and show him that he is needed by the Church,
    he is needed by souls,
    he is needed for the work of redemption.

    O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests,
    take to your heart your son who is close to you
    because of his priestly ordination,
    and because of the power which he has received
    to carry on the work of Christ
    in a world which needs him so much.
    Be his comfort, be his joy, be his strength,
    and especially help him
    to live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy. Amen.

  2. Benedict Carter says:

    Nice prayer, Raven.

    Well, thanks to those who have encouraged me here again. I feel very clumsy and awkward. Has Mundabor been back?

  3. toadspittle says:

    Suggested caption for the ‘snap’ above:

    “No more Benedictine for us!”

  4. kathleen says:

    Yes, a beautiful prayer Raven.
    And what a great picture above of so many priests receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders!

    We were at the ordination of about 12 priests in the Spanish city of Toledo in July 2009, one of whom was an old friend of ours, and it was truly an unforgettable experience.
    This friend who is 48 years of age had been pondering his vocation for years until he finally made up his mind. He is overwhelmingly happy now he told us on the phone the other day. Deo gratias.

    We should indeed pray constantly for our priests. There are no words sufficiently worthy to describe the importance of the holy priesthood. Where would we be without the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus to sustain us that only priests can bring us…… or to absolve our sins so that we can pick up the pieces of our frail humanity washed clean once more? They form bridges for us from this world to the next in their ministerial role.
    We owe our priests help, loyalty, gratitude…….. and friendship within the confines of respect for their status. (Loneliness is one of their crosses I have often been told.)
    It is precisely because the priesthood is so incalculably valuable that the devil attacks them constantly with his “traps and snares” to undo their holy work.

    So we must PRAY, PRAY, PRAY unceasingly for our priests and bishops!

  5. kathleen says:

    Hey, good to see you again Ben! We’ve missed you. Please don’t leave us anymore.

    No, no sign of Mundabor. He has his own blog now which keeps him pretty busy I believe.

  6. mmvc says:

    What a perfect moment to pray for our priests, Raven! I shall do likewise.

    I first saw Cardinal Carberry’s prayer on http://www.prayersforpriests.com.
    Another beautiful prayer I found there is this one by St Therese of Lisieux:

    O Jesus, eternal Priest,
    keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
    where none may touch them.

    Keep unstained their anointed hands,
    which daily touch Your Sacred Body.

    Keep unsullied their lips,
    daily purpled with your Precious Blood.

    Keep pure and unearthly their hearts,
    sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.

    Let Your holy love surround them and
    shield them from the world’s contagion.

    Bless their labors with abundant fruit and
    may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here and in heaven their beautiful and
    everlasting crown. Amen.

    Oh, and Ben, it’s great to have you back! Hope all’s well with you.

  7. Frere Rabit says:

    Hi Ben. Glad you made it. How about that Portugal post you mentioned then? Get writing!

  8. Frere Rabit says:

    Could I also suggest that it is important to pray for vocations in particular regions where there is a growing crisis of vocations. I am becoming increasingly interested in the situation of the Catholic Church here in Spain, now I am once again living and working here. I understand that there is a real crisis of vocations now and it is unsurprising as young people are rarely seen in church. I have not seen anyone under forty-five in the three weeks I have been attending Mass on Thursdays and Sundays here!

    On Wednesday I gained an insight into the cultural ignorance that now exists among children brought up in the devastating secularism of modern Spain. I deliberately say ‘cultural’ ignorance, not religious ignorance, because the secular authorities need to be countered on their own terms. They are producing culturally illiterate young people through a secular education which leaves out the cultural input of Christianity.

    In a history lesson in which I was teaching the class the symbolism of a portrait of a queen, I asked why they thought she was holding a rainbow in her right hand. What was a rainbow a symbol of? It took a very long while to get there. One girl in the class knew the story of Noah. Just one. We then looked at the symbolism of the snake embroidered on the queen’s dress. None of the children could think of any symbolism in a snake (!) I had to teach them about the Garden of Eden and Moses in the desert holding up the brass serpent before we could continue the history lesson. They were amazed. Most of them had never heard these stories!

    I thought secular culture was bad enough in Britain, but I have been working in a church school for seven years, so I was not really prepared for this situation in (one-time) Catholic Spain! I realised that the children I went to school with, back in the 1960s in one of Franco’s schools, are now grandparents. Their children have only known a secular Spain. Their grandchildren born in the ‘nineties have parents who know nothing of the Christian culture of Spain either. The irony is that the educational curriculum still requires a knowledge of the broader culture, and those who don’t know their own culture’s historical Christian references will perform less well – even in secular exams – than candidates who can bring a richer general knowledge of these matters into their understanding.

    Pray for the priesthood and religious life in Spain. The Holy Father will visit Compostela soon in this Holy Year for the shrine of St James, so especially pray for his visit too.

  9. toadspittle says:

    RABIT:

    While I wonder, whether Spain is not a special case, in Europe at least, Britain has, for as long as I remember, not put much emphasis on the cultural relevance of religion in education.
    I’m not sure that is altogether a bad thing. In Spain it would be solely about Catholicism (hint of Islam, old and new, possibly) which as you and I know better than most, is a sensitive topic right now, and will continue to be…
    In Britain, there would be much hoo-ha about Henry Vlll and Protestants, now adding Muslims, Hindoos and the like. Must be inclusive!
    Best to ignore the whole boiling, maybe.
    Leave it to the churches and mosques to tell their own children what their parents think they ought to know.
    Re-reading this, I suppose I’d like to know just what you think the kids ought to be taught in this department.

  10. piliersdelaterre says:

    Hello Ben! (are you in Russia now?)
    I send good wishes and thoroughly miserable weather from England (should one thank God for this?).
    It is such an instinctive thing to wish the priest great courtesy and gratitude after Mass- I simply ask of God that they are cherished and protected for what they have done. I also realize I must never be critical towards a priest (but that is also helped by the selfless attitude of the Pius X ones who don’t worry about a persona but are merely in persona Christe. Also their sermons tend to come through them, with more resonance than if they were simply by them).
    Secularism is a red herring (in my opinion). I actually think that people are applying quite high criteria to their search for God and that it is going on all the time (but not spoken of). Like the Buddhists saying that if they meet the Buddha they must kill him.
    At least there is not the situation in Le Rouge et Le Noir (Stendhal) where the hero had such a cynical attitude to a career in the Church. We tend to forget how wordly priests were for a long long time and how privileged and hypocritical and abusing their role etc (even more recently).
    The cultural language of Christianity is not evident but it is not debased either. Maybe, it will resurge in a new rich light because of unfamiliarity and stark contrast to what has grown up instead.
    I think the SPius priests are extremely modern and radical: they are in answer to these times and not a kind of time warp at all…

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