Saturday, 8 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers Report Part 1: USA c) Indiana and Kentucky

Indiana (The Hoosier* State)

As far as this blog is concerned, the whole of Indiana is represented by one person and I've been enjoying an inspiring and informative correspondence with her. She is Patty and she has given me permission to share what she has written to me. My heartfelt thanks to her. She is a parishioner of St. Matthew's Cathedral in South Bend and a Benedictine Oblate of St. Meinrad's Abbey also in Indiana. Patty is thrilled that Pope Benedict has declared a Year for Priests and has already read two books on St. John Vianney. (I must ask her to let me know the titles because I want to start a recommended book list in the sidebar. Please send in any suggestions either by email or in the combox here.)

Patty writes: "When I became an oblate I began praying the Liturgy of the Hours. It is truly a transforming way to pray! I learned from one of the monks at St. Meinrad to make my own prayer books from pictures in old Catholic magazines, publications, prayers I have found, scripture quotes, my own personal prayers. I have one started for the Year of the Priest." I couldn't agree more about praying the Hours and think the monk's personal prayer book idea is really excellent because it means that the individual who is assembling the book, is constatntly praying, thinking, and on the look out for material which strikes in them a personal spiritual response. It is also highly economical and most of us, including Patty and myself have to watch the pennies and cents!

And from another email Patty sent: "It occurred to me that I should prepare a list of blog sites to include in our (parish) bulletin to increase the fervour especially for Spiritual Mothers for Priests. We are fortunate at St. Matthews to have a deacon who will be ordained this fall. It will be wonderful to pray for him as well as our priest, Father Michael Heintz and to attend the deacon's ordination at our Fort Wayne, Indiana Cathedral."

Patty does not say whether there are other Spititual Mothers in her diocese but it is clear to me from everything she has written, not just from the quotes above, that she herself is experiencing the 'pull' towards the vocation. She may decide to remain hidden and/or to approach her priest or bishop about forming a group of Spiritual Mothers, according to the Honolulu or Tulsa models. Either way, I pray that she and I will continue our correspondence. Not only has it been mutually supportive to us, but so have our prayers for each other, and it has allowed Patty to share her ideas with all the readers of this blog.

My suggestions based on what Patty has said:

1.Consider becoming an Oblate of your nearest Benedictine Abbey or other Order of contemplative monks or nuns. Discuss what you know and feel about Spiritual Motherhood with one of the community. A group may form amongst the Oblates, or it the community doesn't have Oblates, they may themselves be inspired to aske lay women to join them in this Apostolate for priests..
2. Start making your own Prayer Book for Spiritual Mothers and the Year of the Priest
3. Ask the editor of your Parish Bulletin if you can submit a piece on Spiritual Motherhood of Priests. Ask your Parish Priest if you can invite women to come forward to join you, or will he?
4, If there are Deacons or Seminarians from your Parish, make sure they are at least privately adopted by yourself, and by any other women who may share your feeling as to how necessary this is.
5. Consider approaching your bishop, either on your own or with collaborative friends, as in Honolulu and Connecticut.

*Hoosier, according to all my dictionaries means a native of Indiana, origin unknown. Any ideas?

Kentucky (Bluegrass State):

I learned from another correspondent in Lexington, that in her diocese there isn't anyone set aside in charge of Spiritual Motherhood. The Vocations Director is happy to take the mothers 'when we show up'. She said she might mention it when she meets him soon.

Also in that diocese there is a scheme for individuals to set aside enough money each month to buy Divine Office books for needy seminarians. The Vocsations Director handles that as well. I think that's a lovely idea, in the sense that in some cases the seminarians who benefit will be praying their Office from books bought for them by spiritual mothers.

Next up: Prayer Requests followed by SM Report Part 1: USA d) Louisiana and Massachusetts

God bless.

1 comment:

  1. Jane,
    Thank you so much for first of all hosting this blog. It is a great resource and encouragement to those who feel called to be spiritual mothers of priests.
    I began a spiritual prayer book much like the one Patty describes about 7 years ago upon my return to the Church. I love the idea of one for the Year for Priests and will begin one as well.
    Thank you for all you do and for sharing Patty's comments.

    God Bless!
    Karin in NJ USA