Sunday, 30 August 2009

Prayers for Bishop Martino of Scranton PA; Seminarian in Ottawa Canada

Thank you to everyone who has sent in prayers for a spiritual bouquet to Bishop Martino. Please keep them coming. I'm hoping to send him the spiritual bouquet in a few days. In the meantime perhaps my contact in Philadelphia will let him know that we are praying for him. Am about to email her to see if she can do this.

Sorry the link in earlier post was useless to UK readers. Please Google 'Bishop Martino Scranton resigning'.

'Cloistered Heart': I'm sure no-one reading your comment will neglect to pray for this seminarian (see combox).

Next up, more good news from Ireland and Raleigh diocese NC, about seminarians and vocations to the priesthood; and brief report on appointment of an Administative Design Editor for this blog. Lots of improvements coming soon, hopefully within the next week. I'll warn you if the blog template is going to change, which I think it may well do.

Our Lady, Mother of the Church and Seat of Wisdom, intercede for our bishops.

God bless all here,


North American College Seminarians at today's Angelus with Pope Benedict.

The Holy Father looked delighted to see them. After he'd drawn attention to their presence, they sang to him, their faces upturned towards him in happiness, tinged with a little nervouseness I suspect! (God bless them all.) I thought our American spiritual mothers and readers would like to know this in case they haven't caught the usual broadcast on EWTN.

In many ways I prefer the Audiences and Angelus from Castel G. The Pope is much closer to the people, and he himself is less formal than at the Audience Hall or in St. Peter's Square. One of the things I love the most about it is the family feeling this creates; another is the way the camera lights on the faces, not only of seminarians, but also on those of priests and prelates at various stages of their priesthood. All look up at him either in awed admiration or sheer joy in seeing him. Rare is the expressionless face amongst them. It is wonderful to see them openly demonstrating their loyalty and love to him, and it never fails to bring tears of joy to my own eyes.

Prayers for Priests and Seminarians at the North American college at their website here A Litany for Vocations is included.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Bishop of Scranton annouces resignation..

Thanks to contact from a spiritual mother in the diocese, I've just been alerted to this sad news at
Please can we all pray for the bishop tonight, and for the people of his diocese.
No time for more detail now. Will post again later. Please register that you will be praying for the bishop. I will collate and send him a spiritual bouquet from us. I will offer a decadeof my nightly Rosary for him, the third Glorious Mystery.

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour pray for Bishop Martino.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Techno problems continue but help is at hand

It should be all sorted out tomorrow. In the meantime I am grateful for your patience.

A dear friend of mine, from whom that help is coming, has described the problems as 'red hot burny spanners in the works' from you know where and whom! I have to admit that if this blog had no value to the Lord, then we know who wouldn't be taking any interest in it. Coincidence? possibly; superstitious histrionics? certainly not. I've had a nightmare of a day, crowned in the end by wonderful news from Spain and Oklahoma. Deo gratias! Thank you for your prayers.

Will keep you posted here tomorrow.

St. Michael, pray for us.

God bless all here.


Greetings on the Feast of St. Augustine; and technological problems

I have been frustratingly delayed all day and there is so much waiting to be posted. Please pray that I can sort the problem as soon as possible. In the meantime I'll be offering up the nuisance and frustration.

A happy and holy Feast of Saint Augustine to all here.
I've asked his special intercession today for all our bishops.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

A Happy St. Monica's day everyone: Feast day greetings and dedication of the blog

Our Lady, Queen and Mother is the perfect example of all motherhood and I place this Spiritual Mothers of Priests blog under her protection and patronage.

There are several saints whose intercession I seek for spiritual mothers. After Our Lady, St. Monica provides another wonderful role model for us and so on her feast day, I place her as second patron of this site.

The Novena to St Monica is to be found at many sites and I'll just give one link here.
Will put permanently in sidebar at my next blogger dashboard visit.

Prayer on the Feast of St Monica

Dear St Monica, we love you and we thank you as the exemplary mother of the great St. Augustine. Before his conversion you persevered through constant prayer and tears to win him for Our Lord. Intercede for all spiritual mothers of priests, that through their prayer, sacrifices and hours of Adoration of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus, they may assist in the sanctification of their spiritual sons; and may help toward the re-conversion and renewal of any who have gone astray. Intercede for the intentions of our Holy Father Pope Benedict, whose own formation was so greatly influenced by your son Augustine; for Cardinal Hummes; and for the expansion of the Spiritual Mothers of Priests movement throughout the world during this Year of the Priest. Amen

A holy and happy evening of the Feast to everyone here.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

New sidebar links: Why follow this blog and Recommended books

Two or three people have asked me to put up a clear post about the aims of this blog. As a temporary measure I've put something at the top of the sidebar. I will however post in more detail about this as soon as possible.

Much lower down the sidebar I've begun a recommended book list for the Year of the Priest and Spiritual Mothers in particular. I only had time to list three. Please help me add to the list by putting your recommendations in the combox, or by email at

God bless. Time for bed here in France..

Spiritual Mothers of priests blog: printable prayer card

This is in preparation/negotiation, and will be published as soon as posssible. It was suggested to me by a dear friend in England's Arundel and Brighton diocese, who is doing her best to help me get it sorted! As we used to say in Yorkshire, England, 'Thanks, ducks!' Odd that the dialect expression is in the plural, when usually addressed to a single individual.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers in Ohio, Italy, Spain, UK

Wondeful news from all these areas today. Am waiting for permissions from my correspondents before I publish details of what they have told me. In the meantime, Spiritual Mothers the world over rejoice, and continue to pray without ceasing for Our Lord's beloved priests..

If you have something to tell me, please do so through the combox or by emailing me at

Please make sure to tell me which country and diocese you live in, and whether you want your identity to be kept secret.

More tomorrow DV.

God bless and strengthen you all, and please pray for me too.


Monday, 24 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers general update: Different types of site for the SM movement; good news in Virginia; networking re: UK beginning to bear fruit

Thank you once again to all our faithful followers and friends, particularly those who are waiting for emails from me. I do so much appreciate your prayers and your patience. Your quiet and steady presence gives me hope and strength.

On my networking journey today I discovered two sites. The first is:
This is run by 'The Daughters of Mary' (not a religious order) but an internet creation. It is an excellent recource for Spiritual Mothers and I spent a fair amount of time exploring it this morning. As I did so, I began to wonder whether this blog and my own efforts are really necessary. Then I realised that there is a crucial difference between us. Theirs is an online thing you can sign up to and that is a brilliant opportunity, but it does not, as far as I could establish, mention or promote the need to get things going in as many parishes and dioceses as possible throughout the world. The latter goal is a major purpose of this blog. The Internet is wonderful but we do not live in it as we do in our parishes/dioceses. So I decided to keep going!

The second site I found was
This is the site of the Arlington diocese in Virginia. On their top bar menu your can find under 'Your Faith' the story of the movement for Spiritual Mothers in this diocese and how it is now organised. It was begun by a laywoman and currently they have several groups of 7 spiritual mothers there, under the spiritual direction of Fr Robert Lange. Their model is based on the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I will be contacting Father as soon as possible and will report any result.

Back in the UK, Birmingham Archdiocese is to the fore with yet another spiritual mother there, but in a different area from the others, having undertaken to research the situation in the archdiocese. And two blogs based in Scotland gave us a plug today. More about them as soon as possible.

Our friend in Nebraska emailed to say that hard copy materials had been mailed to me and that I should receive them within the next ten days.

If any of my personal friends are reading this, I promise to get back to you when I can. You are the 'salt of the earth' and precious to me.

I think this intense period of networking will probably last another three weeks. Please continue to pray that it will bear fruit for the universal expansion of Spiritual Motherhood and thus for the sanctification and protection of Our Lord's beloved priests. Also, where time allows please network among your own contacts.

When Father Mark gets back to Tulsa, DV in a few days time, I'm going to ask him to compose a prayer for spiritual mother to offer for each other and will ask Fr Lange to do the same.

Time for bed now.

God bless all priests and all here.


Sunday, 23 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers report: USA and UK.

We have great hidden spiritual support in this state even though the Archdiocese of my contact has not been particularly co-operative. Nevertheless priests and all of us spiritual mothers are being powerfully prayed for there.

New Mexico:
My Nebraska contact let me know about the Handmaids of the Precious Blood, a contemplative community in Jemez Springs. Their 'primary dedication is to promote holiness in God's priests through (their) life of perpetual Eucharistic Adoration day and night.' They are not contactable by email but you can read more about them and find their exact address at The community welcomes Oblates.

'One Grateful Heart' wrote from this state to say how much she appreciates the blog and the Holy Father's initiative in designating this year for priests. She is praying for me and all of you, so for the moment she is our spiritual mother in Ohio.

Well we know about OK. When Fr Mark gets back from Ireland, I'm going to ask him if one of the spiritual mothers there will send in a report here. The 30 consecrated ladies in Tulsa seem to be the only ones on the Internet who are in that position. I think it would be very sad if they didn't share the experience with the rest of us, and in so doing help to spread the Tulsa example to other dioceses throughout the world..

A correspondent in Dallas reports that the area is supporting its priests, and also has a network for seminarians, particularly by adoption of a seminarian as a prayer partner and commiting to pray for all seminarians and the prayer partner in particlular. He gives me a link:
which I couldn't get to work and does not say whether he knows of anything specific going on in the Dallas area about spiritual motherhood. He didn't give me an email address which was sad. Nevertheless his contact is very much appreciated.

Washingto DC
A contact from here, writes that although she has not 'officially' become a spiritual mother, praying for priests is one of the most important things in her life. I really think the time is coming when I'll have to ask Cardinal Hummes, whether there is such a person as an 'official' spiritual mother. As things stand at present, there is no statement from the Holy See contra my belief that our friend in Washington DC is already a dedicated spiritual mother. (More on contacting His Eminence as soon as possible.) In the meantime God bless our representative in Washingon DC.

Archdiocese of Birmingham and Diocese of Portsmouth.
In both these dioceses we have friends who have promised to approach their bishop or parish priest about forming a group of spiritual mothers, and in two other dioceses I have contacts who are considering what they can do. All of these four ladies are supporting us in prayer.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who is supporting this blog both spiritually and practically.

God bless.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Catching up after another busy day

Last report on current USA information tomorrow, plus some very encouraging news from the UK.

No news from Minnesota

Please continue with prayers for our friends in Cottage Grove.
I will try another email later today.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Fr Tim Finigan and Fr Ray Blake: Grateful thanks from the Spiritual Mothers of Priests blog

Fr Tim (The Hermeneutic of Continuity) and Fr Ray (Saint Mary Magdalen) both posted yesterday on their blogs about this Spiritual Mothers of Priests blog. Both made a characteristically generous and speedy response to my appeal for their help in making this one more widely known, particularly in the UK.

As far as I am concerned these two priests represent the twin pillars of the English orthodox Roman Catholic blogosphere. I'm sure that all my followers and readers would wish me to publish , not only our heartfelt thanks for their help, but also to send belated greetings for the Silver Jubilee of Ordination which both Fr Ray and Fr Tim celebrated earlier this year. As Fr Ray pointed out at the time, they are in good company, both Pope Benedict's secretaries having been ordained in that year too.

I intend to publish a more detailed tribute to 'The Twin Pillars' in a later post, but as you and they know, I'm currently working flat out for the Spiritual mothers blog. If you are not already a reader, please do visit both of their high quality blogs. (links in sidebar right) Both Fr Tim and Fr Ray follow to the letter, the wishes expressed by Pope Benedict in his 'Summorum Pontificum of 2007. In their parishes they celebrate both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary forms of the Mass. Their blogs are required daily reading both for their news and spiritual content. Both have a tremendous sense of humour which they do not omit to demonstrate where appropriate.
They are a grace and blessing on the English blogosphere, and on the Church in England in general.

Thank you again Fathers. Ad multos annos to you both.

God bless all here

In union of prayer


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Today's Zenit: Items of particular interest to this blog

1.Pope: Priests should be witnesses of love
2.Vatican to prepare document on Seminarians

Zenit link in sidebar here

Prayer request for one of our supporters in Minnesota

Our hidden supporter lives in the Cottage Grove area of Minnesota and I've just read on Adoro Te that her part of the city has been hit by the tornado. I've messaged her on Facebook and will now email her, in the hope of getting news. In the meantime please join me in prayer for her.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

St. Jean Eudes 1601-1680: "The Adorable Heart of Jesus"

A happy and holy feast of St Jean Eudes!

The Holy Father devoted today's General Audience to St. Jean, pointing out his devotion to the the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of His Immaculate Mother. Pope Benedict also honoured the sterling work he did in the foundation of seminaries and in the education of diocesan priests in France, setting him before today's priests and seminarians as example of priestly holiness.

I thought the Holy Father looked rather pale and tired today. His finger must be swollen because he was not wearing his ring. He was late in appearing so maybe it had fallen off and it was being searched for. It will be a vast relief to him and to us all when that cast finally comes off and he can get back to writing and playing the piano! Apparently he has been told that the latter exercise will be an excellent form of physiotherapy, which must have pleased him enormously.

Here are some brief extracts from today's second Office reading for the feast. It is taken from St. Jean's treatise "The Adorable Heart of Jesus":

" are to him as a member to the head, and he earnestly desires to use all your faculties as if they were his own for the service and glorification of his Father.............

"All that is in you must be grafted on to him, so that from him you may draw life and by him be ruled. True life is nowhere to be found by you except in him, who is the only source of life. Apart from him you will find nought save death and destruction. Let him be the principle of all your actions, emotions, powers. You must live by him and for him.........

" must have with him one spirit, one soul, one life, one will, one intention, one heart. It is he himself who is to be spirit, heart, love, life, everything to you. In the life of a Christian, all these marvels have their origin in baptism, are increased and strengthened by confirmation and the good use of the other graces in which God makes him share, and are perfected above all by the holy eucharist."

St Jean Eudes, pray for Pope Benedict, for all priests, and for us, their flock.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Mother of the Church and Queen of Clergy, pray for us.
Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us. Amen

90 fahrenheit in the shade, and networking

At least a dozen of you are waiting for emails from me. I have not forgotten any of you in my thoughts and prayers but have been networking some important contacts today in the hope of spreading the word about Spiritual Motherhood. Please pray for good results and a drop in temperature!

Thank you for your patience. It's an email day tomorrow.............!

God bless.


Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Year for Priests: Plans ready for Closing events in Rome

For details go to

Busy day. Have to be out for nearly five hours. Will try to post last USA report this evening.

God bless the Congregation for Clergy and all here!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers of Priests and their friends: United Kingdom

At least as far as the Internet is concerned, the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton is the only publicly displayed 'jewel in the crown' of British spiritual motherhood and prayer for priests. This has come about through the efforts of orthodox Catholic laity. On June 15 this year, a blog run by a family of makers of Catholic films, posted that they were beginning a search for people willing to 'adopt' an A&B diocesan priest and pray for him daily throughout the Sacerdotal Year. On July 8 they announced that the Prayer for Priests Crusade target had been met. All the priests of Arundel and Brighton diocese (active and retired) have been adoopted by 161 people from around the world. You can read a description of how they went about achieving this success (link in sidebar). These 161 people have become adoptive spiritual parents and some of them are therefore spiritual mothers. The relevant information is on pages 30, and then 39 through 44 of the blog. Just start at the top and scroll . The oldest post on the subject is on page 43/44 Year of the Priest - Praying for A&B Priests. The most recent is on page 30/3131 A&B Prayer Crusade Target Reached.

I have several friends in A&B, one of whom alerted me to the Bevans family initiative. She is a follower of this blog and authors the blog of the Arundel and Brighton LMS so if you're interested in how the EF is doing there, please pay her a visit. She has recently run a questionnaire which has returned proof that there is definite demand for the 'old Mass' in her area. Arundel was the home of St. Philip Howard, one of our English Reformation Martyrs. Aside from giving Mass places and times, there are often interesting posts on pilgrimages and English Catholic heritage, paricularly in the south of the country.

So blessings and congratulations to the Bevans (the head of which family was recently ordained Permanent Deacon - Ad multos Annos!)

Repeated search on the Internet for initiatives like the Bevans' in other dioceses has revealed nothing . I've not had time to visit all the websites yet. However of the 7 I've looked at out of 22+Armed Forces, not all highlight the Year of the Priest on their home page and none mentions the Holy See's appeal regarding the movement for Spiritual Mothers of Priests.

I have personal contacts in two Scottish dioceses, one Welsh and seven English ones. One of my next tasks is to contact them all and ask them to ferret out information, and/or if they feel inspired to approach their bishops or parish priests. A fellow blogger Jane Teresa of 'My Heart was Restless' is in one of the northern dioceses and she was good enough, a few days ago, to give this blog a heads up post on hers.

There remains a very important group of five UK hidden spiritual mothers and supporters They are all in regular correspondence with me and I can assure you that many priests, and all people here, are being prayed for by them. One is in antother unknown northern English diocese, another in Edinburgh, three in the Archdiocese of Birmingham and yet one more in A&B.

May I make two urgent appeals:

1. Please will everone say a Hail Mary tonight for more spiritual mothers to come forward in the United Kingdom.

2. If you live in the UK please try to find out whether there is a group of spiritual mothers in your diocese or parish, and if there is not, please consider approaching your PP or bishop. Any information will be gratefully received in the combox or direct to me at

In union of prayer,


Sunday, 16 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers of Priests: "Trials and Attacks".

This morning I received an important email from one of our friends, a USA Spiritual Mother of a priest. She does not say whether I can reveal who she is, so until and unless she does, I will call her 'Michelle'. She writes:

"Since beginning this vocation several months ago, I have noticed something which I should have expected - spiritual attacks and trials, especially on Thursdays, the day I offer my Mass and Communion as well as a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament at the end of my work day. I find getting up for Mass and gettimg to that Holy Hour extremely difficult.

"What I realised was that I was in a battle and attempting to fight it with very little protection. I know the devil would like nothing more than for me and others to give up and slack off in our prayers and sacrifices for our spiritual sons. Since he works best with our weaknesses and has found mine, he has gone to work!

"I don't know if other women have experienced this (I am sure they have in some way), but I write you this just to relate my own experience and so that you may share it in whatever way you see fit. Since this important realization I have begun praying more specifically for protection in this vocation, to Our Lady and to St. Michael the Archangel. I also think it is important that we pray for each other in this......."

This email was like being stopped in the road and asked directions to somewhere. That very thing had happened to me the previous day. I had just come out of the village shop when a car stopped and the passenger asked me the way to our village antique fair. It is the custom on the Feast of the Assumption. Now, I wasn't exactly sure where it was being held this year, and gave directions to the local hotel round the corner. Alain, the patron, would know exactly and give clearer direction than I could. I'm sure you all see my point. Michelle does not tell me whether she has a priest spiritual director. But if she has not, she is like the passenger in that car and I can only encourage her to find one. For there is no doubt about it in my own mind and experience, that such a person is essential for a spiritual mother. It stands to reason that the more profoundly committed you are to this, or indeed any vocation in the Church, the more the devil is likely to attack you, and grim it is when he does. As she says herself she is 'in a battle with very little protection'.

It's not my intention to give spiritual advice on this blog. I am neither qualified, fit nor worthy. However, I'm very happy to share experiences with people who email me and I'll certainly respond privately to Michelle. However, I checked the Catholic Spiritual Direction blog to see if there was anything there about Michelle's particular concern. There are many subjects, but not that one. You can however email them a question but there is no guarantee you'll have an answer on their blog because the site is inundated with questions. However they do say that each week they note the frequency of a question. So the more people ask about something, the more likely it is to be answered. I recommend that Michelle sends in a question, and anyone else who needs help on this issue. In the meantime, if you haven't already got one, continue the search for a spiritual director (the CSD blog has pages on that); and pray like Michelle to Our Lady and St. Michael for protection. I would add St. John Vianney, who was considerably experienced in warfare with the evil one!

One of Michelle's most important points is that we spiritual mothers and our friends should pray constantly not only for our spiritual sons, but for each other.

No time for the UK report tonight but DV, tomorrow morning. Will finish the USA reports as soon as possible after that.

In union of prayer,


Father Mark Kirby flying to Ireland in a few hours.

Spiritual Mothers of Priests and all who benefit spiritually from his ministry on and off line, will want to join me in praying that Father Mark has a safe journey there and back and a wonderful stay in Ireland. See his latest post at Vultus Christi for details of what he'll be doing there, and why it is so important.

Next up, DV in a few hours:
'Trials and Attacks' on Spiritual Mothers of Priests. One of many reasons why we need an ever-increasing number of member followers, friends and supporters world-wide. Pray for priests and for all their spiritual mothers.

AND the first report on the UK

Monday's an email day so if you are waiting for a reply, watch out for me then! You can of course email me at any time at

God bless Father Mark and all here.

In union of prayer


Saturday, 15 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers of Priests: "Emergencies and other Excitements"

Well, I said it, didn't I!?

On Thursday morning my computer crashed spectacularly. Hence my 'silence' here, and lack of email contact. After a complicated process of technological restoration, I thank God to be back online. I was given two whole days, well nearly, to recharge spiritual batteries. Lessons, lessons!

In a recent Meme on my other Oasis blog, I was asked to list 7 of my favourite things. My computer was in the list because without it I wouldn't be in touch with my blogging friends or with kto and EWTN. I tend to insert DV, when declaring intentions to do this or that, and will continue to do so. In future, if there's more than a couple of days absence of posting here, you can be sure it's a computer problem or that I have met with grave illness or death.

Back to 'normal' tomorrow, DV.

With my prayers for you all for a holy and happy Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady Mother and Queen.

God bless all here.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers of Priests: blog update and some decisions

Aside from the officially registered member followers in the sidebar, there are 19 others who have preferred the privacy of email to contact me with information, questions, offers of help, and above all promises of prayer for Pope Benedict and for all priests. 27 out of the total 37 have contributed the information on which this blog is being built and I want to congratulate and thank you all for what you have achieved here in such a short space of time. Please keep spreading the word about Spiritual Motherhood far and wide, and either via combox or email, keep the information coming to me. Do any of you know anyone in Asia or South America who may respond with interest?

This blog now represents spiritual mothers and their friends in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, UK (England and Scotland), South Africa, and in 14 States of the USA plus Washington DC.

All of you have promised me your prayers and I'm most in need of, and grateful for, the grace and strength they are to me.

On Monday, as I went about everything else, I pondered the fact that my own contribution to the blog has manifested three aspects and I came to the conclusion that I ought to devote specific days of the week to the different ones; that I should publish this intention here so that my readers know what sort of emphasis to expect from day to day.
Here's my initial plan. If it changes I'll let you know, and of course emergencies or other excitements may sometimes take precedence. But for now:

SUNDAYS, WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS . Posts will try to offer help toward meditation and prayer for Spiritual Mothers, as in the two earlier posts about the Chaplet. (It's been worrying me that I've not done more about it. Now, DV, I'll be able to get back to it on the Eve of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother.)

MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS. I'll be concentrating on answering your emails and any comments you've submitted. On these two days I won't post at all if it can be helped. I need the time for my 'hidden ones' and to recharge my own spiritual batteries.

TUESDAYS AND SATURDAYS. Posts on news and information as it has come in from around the world.

In union of prayer for all our priests.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers Report: USA d) Michigan, Minnesota; New Jersey


My correspondent from the Great Lakes State doesn't tell me whether or not I can use her real name. However, she does tell me that her parish has 'the great grace of having the 'Opus Sanctorum Angelorum associated with (it)' (see new link in sidebar here) So I will call her 'Angelica' unles or until she tells me otherwise. The OSA's site is a wonderful resource, particularly for those of us who currently do not have access to a group of spiritual mothers in their parish or diocese. There are two ways that you can support their 'Crusade for Priests' as an individual. (See also New Jersey below.)

'Angelica' is yet another friend who has been led here by Fr. Mark Kirby. She asks me to include her in my 'accounting of "spiritual mothers" and that she has been confirmed in the vocation by her priest spiritual director. She knows that there are quite a few other women in her parish 'who are definitely being drawn to spiritual maternity for priests. I know you will all join me in prayer for Angelica and her parish, and that its example will spread throughout Michigan.

Angelica also mentions the Lay Association 'Reparatrix. She thinks there are about a hundred members scattered throughout the USA and that the founder lives in Illinois. I have emailed A and asked her for more information. "The members live out their lives hidden in God, in a spirit of reparation for priests, especially those who are not living their vows." I haven't been able to find anything on the Internet about it but will post here anything I do discover.

Minnisota (The North Star State)

I had an email from a Lay Missionary of Charity of Mother Teresa. She's in Cottage Grove. Another LMC sends out daily messages and sometimes quotes Fr Mark. Mycorrespondent says that she prays often for many priests so when she read about spiritual motherhood she felt that she should do the same. She then very generously offers me her help. I pray that she will do this by spreading the word in her Association and in her locality generally, and that if it is the Lord's will, several will approach their bishop(s) about the formation of an official group. I intend to email her about this and will report any results here.

New Jersey

Esther (Honolulu) who gave a talk at the parish of St Stephen, Paterson in NJ emailed to tell me that she knows they started a group of Spiritual Mothers at parish level.

Another contact from the Garden State tells me that she too found me through Fr. Mark. She says she has adopted a priest through Opus Sanctorum Angelorum (see Michigan above) so it looks as if she is from an NJ parish that has not yet followed in the footsteps of St. Stephen's in Paterson.

Next up: Blog decisions and then USA e) New Mexico, Ohio and Oklahoma

God bless and profound thanks to all of you who have emailed me and to all our friends and followers. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if I've not yet replied to your email, I will do so as soon as possible.


Monday, 10 August 2009

Fr. Tim Finigan and 'Pelerin': Our English Friends in Lourdes

Both Fr Finigan and 'Pelerin' are in Lourdes this week, but I'm not sure either knows of the other's presence there, which is crazy, considering they live less than a hundred miles away from each other in the UK, and condidering also that 'Pelerin' is a regular attender at Mass at St. Mary Magdalene Brighton., where the PP, Fr. Ray Blake is a great friend of Fr. Finigan. These two priests represent the blogospheric 'salt of the earth' in England. (I will put up links to their excellent blogs asap. Here in Europe, we all know them, but perhaps not in the USA.) The last time I met 'Pelerin,' Fr. Tim was there, but Fr Ray absent; the last time I met Fr Tim and Fr. Ray together, 'Pelerin' was absent.

I should have been in Lourdes today with 'Pelerin'. We had it all planned. But my husband broke his leg (a few hours before the Holy Father flew to Jordan). It was a bad fracture of the femur. He was in hospital for six weeks and his frailty since his discharge put paid to my Lourdes Pilgrimage. Just before 'Pelerin' left for Lourdes last Friday, I emailed her and asked her to take to the feet of Our Lady in the Grotto, this blog and all the spiritual mothers represented on it, either publicly or in a hidden way. 'Pelerin' replied immediately, that she would.

Deo gratias.


Spiritual Mothers' Prayer Requests: Honolulu and Cnnecticut.

Please pray with the spiritual mothers in Honolulu as they consider approaching Bishop Silva on the question of their consecration; and for our friends in Connecticut who have a meeting on September 1 with one of the three Connecticut bishops about setting up a spiritual mothers group in his diocese. The other two Connecticut bishops have already given a favourable verbal response; your prayers are therefore beseeched, for Connecticut in general.

God bless.


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers Report Part 1 USA d) Louisiana and Massachusetts

LOUISIANA (The Pelican State)


I have lost the email address of the one response I had from NEW IBERIA, SOUTH LOUISIANA. You were the only one, so you will know who you are, if you're reading this. You said that there are many devout Catholics in your area, who like yourself would love to participate in the movement for the Spiritual Motherhood of Priests. I really do want to reply to you and answer any of your questions as yet unanswered in earlier posts on this blog. Thank you for your offer of help. Please do let me have your email address at


Some first thought from a friend in the Bay State from now on referred to as 'Therese'

1."I think that it (Spiritual Motherhood) should definitely be formal so many will join in, but for me, since I feel I live a bit of a hidden life, I feel the personal call shouldn't be excluded. I would definitely go to a group if we had one.

2. "Our diocese prays for its seminarians. We have a special vocations kit which comes in a lovely bag with a crucifix and prayer books, and photos of our local seminarians. Each family is encouraged to sign up and take the kit home and pray for one week. Our priest hands it out at the end of Mass, calling the family up to receive it and he gives his blessing. We are encouraged to send the seminarians cards during the holidays or simply notes of encouragement letting them know we are praying for them. As Father says, these men will be our children's and grandchildren's priests and they need all of our help. .......I think adding the call to be a spiritual mother even increases this effort in a greater and more powerful way. I do like the idea of having the seminarians photos so I can picture a face with the name and also of sending cards as I think it would be encouraging. I just don't know if a spiritual mother should follow, as maybe this is a more hidden calling .......I was wondering how others are handling that....."

Over to you dear readers! In the meantime, as soon as I can, I'll ask some of my priest friends how they feel about this. Please do the same. And report results by email or in combox.

In my own case, I am 'sent' priests by a priest friend, or through internet contact. I also have an aspirant seminarian. It has happened this way for me because of my isolation here in rural France. It has been an evolving process over the last year. Possibly, I may do a post about it later on, but I'm rather like 'Therese' and tend towards the hidden preference. I have 15 spiritual sons (including the aspirant seminarian) who, once I had privately offered myself to Our Lord as a possible spiritual mother of His beloved priests, began to arrive on my spiritual 'doorstep'. I did not have to go out looking for them! Only one of them knows me personally and also knows I regard him and pray for him as a 'spiritual son'. He also knows that I would never reveal his identity. About half the rest know me personally but are unaware that I am praying for them in this way, although perhaps two or three may suspect it. I would only ever reveal it to them, and their identity to nobody else. The other half may or may not know that they have a spiritual mother who is praying for them, and if they do, they know nothing else about her.

In a later email 'Therese' tells me she is going to approach her PP about forming a group in spite of her worry that he is already so busy. She also makes cogent remarks about the need for spiritual direction of spiritual mothers, and in my view is absolutely inspired when it comes to different groups or types of priest who need to be adopted by a spiritual mother. These two issues willl be considered in future posts.

In her latest email 'Therese' tells me she found a pamphlet in church. It is a Rosary for Priests and 'A Calling Card for Jesus'. She has sent me the whole thing via attachments but they have not all come through properly. From what I am able to read, I can see three things: 1. It is beautiful and every spiritual mother will want to use it. 2. Between us, 'Therese' and I must sort out the technology so you can all have it on here. (If anyone else has come across it, please contact me.) 3. Her PP knows what he's doing! God bless and strengthen him.

Next up: Prayer Requests; Our English friend in Lourdes; USA e) Michigan and New Jersey

God bless all here.


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.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers Report: Part 1 USA b) Hawaii and Florida

Hawaii (The Aloha* State)


If you haven't yet linked to Esther's 'A Catholic Mom in Hawaii' blog I really recommend it. Of particular relevance here is her post about a short talk on how she and Easter of 'A Tribute to our Priests', with the permission of their Bishop Larry Silva, founded the Spiritual Moms Apostolate in Honolulu. (Esther gave the talk at St. Stephen's Church , Paterson, NJ).

Esther's post is helpful because it describes a particular way of getting started, outlines a particular model for Spiritual Motherhood groups, and answers some of the questions she fielded from her audience in Paterson.

Like many of us, Esther had been inspired by Cardinal Hummes' document and contacted Easter to ask for her help and support. In January 2008 not long after they had agreed to work together, they went on The March for Life, and 'there and then' approached their bishop, explained their plans and asked his permission to go ahead. This was readily granted after they subsequently supplied him with more detailed information.. By April 24th 2008, yes that soon, all the priests and seminarians in Honolulu diocese had been spiritually adopted by individual spiritual mothers.

If you feel like trying their direct approach, and I think most of us would feel more emboldened with an ally, there is nothing to stop you. If you want to follow in the footseps of Esther and Easter and your bishop is at all approachable, it is probably a better idea in the first instance than writing a letter. Find a friend for support, check the bishop's public appearance itinerary, and off you go!

In a Q&A Session after her talk, Esther was asked what is expected of a Spiritual Mother. Her answer: Prayer and Sacrifice (see her post for details). The issue was also raised about whether the spiritual mother and her spiritual son should be given details of each other so that they can be in touch. In the Honolulu model, the mother is told which priest is her 'son' and it is up to her to contact him if she so wishes. Apparently this has worked successfully so far.

(A similarly successful and open scheme has been set up in the English Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, again initiated by a family of laity. I'll link to this and describe it more fully when reporting on the UK, which will form Part 2 of this series of posts.)

Father Dariusz, the Parish Priest at Paterson asked if the members of SMA could offer financial assistance to their spititual sons. Esther responded that this had not yet been considered but she would bring it up in the SMA forum. She concludes her post by first of all pleading for more devout Catholic Women to consider a call to the SMA. However, she rightly cautions that it is not to be taken lightly. "It is a commitment.......your spiritual son is depending on your prayer and sacrifice." And then she says that if any SM finds she cannot keep to the commitment, to let her know so that a new SM can be assigned to the priest in question.. For me, this raises the important issue of the length of the commitment that SMs promise. Esther does not say, at least I don't think so, whether or not the SMs of Honolulu have been blessed or consecrated by Bishop Silva, as have those in Tulsa by Bishop Slattery.

The Honolulu model is very different from the Tulsa one. I'm sure you will want to reflect on the differences and will probably already know which one appeals to you personally. I hope we can all agree though, that both models have a valuable role to play in the movement of Spiritual motherhood within Holy Mother Church. Please join me in offering a prayer of thanksgiving for the devotion, prayer and hard work of Esther and Easter, and one of supplication for them and their SMA.

Thanks so much Esther for being in touch by email. Do please keep me posted on how things progress so I can update here when necessary.

NB A note about developments in Florida. I know that things are stirring in Miami at least, but in keeping with my promise to protect the privacy of you all where you have asked for that, I need permissions before I can give more detail.

I have learned that in Hawaiian words have spiritual meaning or divine power. Aloha is among the most sacred and powerful and deserves a post all to itself.

Next in this series: Part 1 USA c) Indiana; Kentucky

God bless.


Thursday, 6 August 2009

The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

Extract from today's Office of Readings:

From a semon of Anastasius of Sinai........ 'It is good for us to be here'

"...Yes indeed, Peter, it is good for us to be here with Jesus and to remain here for ever. What is more blessed, what more sublime, what more exalted than to be with God, to be shaped to his likeness, to dwell in the light? Since each one of us has God within him and is transformed into his divine image, let us cry out in joy: 'It is good for us to be here.' For here all is light, and joy, and happiness, and bliss; here the heart is at rest, in peace, serene; here we behold Christ our God; here he comes to dwell with the Father, and as he enters he says: 'Today salvation has been brought to this house'; here with Christ are the countless treasures of eternal blessings; here are the beginnings of the age to come, here we see it reflected as in a mirror."

R The face of Jesus shone like the sun; the disciples saw him in his glory and were overcome with awe and dread.
V. They saw Moses and Elijah appear, conversing with Jesus; the disciples saw him in his glory and were overcome with awe and dread. "

Ways of being a Spiritual Mother of Priests: Private Oblation, Public Witness, or both. Part 1: USA a) Connecticut

Connecticut - The Nutmeg State/The Provisions State - Providing the spice of Prayer for Priests
It is a happy and appropriate coincidence that Connecticut is the first on our alphabetical list of States which have sent in news here. As many of you will know, until the end of July last year, Fr Mark Kirby was Chaplain to the Benedictine nuns of Jesus Crucified in Branford CT 06405-4003 . I think he'd been there for seven years. The same order has a monastery in northern France and Father, who knows the French community as well, very kindly put me in touch with them. The Branford Monastery of the Glorious Cross runs monthly days for Oblates and friends of the monastery. You can email to enquire at
The Order's website is;
It would be great if people contacted them and/or visited them.

I had an email from a Connecticut gentleman who got to know Fr. Mark whilst he was at Brandon. I will only give his name with his permission. Howver, he brought me up to date with possible imminent developments for Spiritual Motherhood in the three CT dioceses. The three bishops have been approached and as soon as my contact lets me have further news, I will publish it here. I will also await my contact's permission to share the manner and the terms in which the bishops were addressed because it will be most helpful to others who wish to do the same Worldwide. The approaching group has met two of the bishops and received a favourable
verbal response. The meeting with the third bishop is scheduled for September 1. I'm sure you will all join us in prayer for a happy outcome.

Paul Zalonski, also based in CT contacted me and offered any help he can give on his site 'Communio' (a great name Paul, and comfortingly very Pope Benedict.) I will certainly be taking Paul up on his offer. The link to his site is already in the sidebar here.

Next up, tomorrow - Florida and Hawaii

Time to cook supper!

God bless Connecticut, and all here.

In union of prayer,


Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Spiritual Motherhood of Priests: An attempt to answer some of your questions

Many of the emails I have received have been from feminine souls who feel God's call to spiritual maternity of priests but do not know how to go about becoming a spiritual mother. Is it a vocation to which one may be consecrated by the Church, either privately or in public, or is it one which any Catholic woman (religious or lay) can privately and hiddenly embrace? Currently, the answer to both parts of this question would seem to be affirmative. The 2007 document of the Congregation for Clergy, addressed to the bishops, does not legislate about it. It conveys the desire of the Holy See that such 'consecrated feminine souls' should be sought and encouraged but does not give much advice about how this should happen in practice. In one sense this is a weakness in the document, but in another, in the age of the Internet, it is a strength. Why a weakness? It is addressed to bishops who are busy men snowed under with documents they must read and implement if possible. As far as the bishops are concerned, there seems to be only one, well known on the Internet for taking positive action on the matter and that is his Excellency Bishop Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahome. The strength of the document of course lies in its availability to everyone on the Internet. Priests and women have themselves read it and been inspired by it to take action at personal, parish, or diocesan level. It seems that apart from in Tulsa and perhaps one or two other places unknown, the movement for Spiritual Maternity of Priests, is growing from the grass roots, and is not being generally initiated by the episcopate.

Some of my correspondents live in parishes or dioceses where there is an official group of Spiritual Mothers. There is another group, members of which are content to live the vocation in a totally hidden way with private guidance from a priest spiritual director. In another post I will describe the different ways in which these two types of spiritual mother live out their vocation. However, the present post is meant for people who feel called to spiritual motherhood, but who are alone in this desire and do not know what to do next.

Judging from your emails, most of you already know whether belonging to a group appeals to you, or whether you wish to be solitary. Some are not sure, but whatever the case it's my conviction that a priest spiritual director is essential. If you don't already have one and don't know how to go about finding one, the 'Catholic Spiritual Direction' blog has some good pages on that (link towards top of sidebar on my other blog 'Thoughts from an Oasis in French Catholicism', for link to it, see sidebar here to the right.) Once found, your SD will be able to answer all the questions I am not qualified to answer! One of those questions will possibly be about whether you will be a spiritual mother to one special priest, or to several, or whether you will devote yourself to a particular group or type of priest, those who have gone astray or who are being persecuted for instance. Seminarians are another very special focus for some spiritual mothers. Of course it's possible to pray privately for your own special priest(s) and also belong to a parish or diocesan group that has a more general focus, and which meets occasionally for prayer, mutual support and encouragement.

Another thing a spiritual director could help you with, is how to go about asking your PP or bishop to consider forming a parish or diocesan group. However, there is nothing to stop you from approaching your priest or bishop about this. My own view is that a diocesan group like the one in Tulsa is ideal. The women there went through a discernment process followed by some months of formation from a director (Fr. Mark Kirby) appointed by the bishop, before being consecrated by Bishop Slattery at a special ceremony in the Cathedral. They made a solemn oblation in public, which as a form of profession shows the holy significance of the action for the spiritual mothers themselves. Added to that, it also demonstrates to the entire faithful that the Church blesses, values and encourages the vocation of Spiritual Motherhood for Priests.

I hope this helps a little. More as soon as possible. If you are at this stage of enquiry and have further questions please comment here or email me at

St. John Vianney pray for Pope Benedict, for all bishops, priests and seminarians, and for their spiritual mothers.
Holy Mary Mother of the Church, pray for us.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Amen

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers of Priests: Global witness Report 2 and some important additions to sidebar

We now have known representation in the following continents:

Africa (South Africa)
Europe (England, France, Italy and Spain)
North America (Canada and USA) Michigan is now on the States list

Please do your best to help find spiritual mothers in Asia and South America.

Thank you for all the information you have sent in. I'm composing a full report based on this and will publish (with his help) in the evening of St. John Vianney's feast day.

New additions to sidebar:

At the very top: a marvellous piece by Fr Mark on St. John Vianney. He doesn't say as much but I think he may have preached it at last night's Triduum I. I was following spiritually at the time and benefited enormously from reading it aloud after the first hymn. Glad I found the music. That too was enormously helpful.

Homeschool Goodies author Evann has really great pages of Links for the Year of the Priest. At present the link to his site on the sidebar here does not lead direct to these pages. I'll try to put that right tomorrow.

In the bloglist there are two new entries, one in Australia and another in Italy. I'D BE MOST GRATEFUL IF THE AUTHORS OF THESE TWO BLOGS WOULD CONTACT ME ASAP AT

At the Angelus from Castel Gandolfo yesterday our dear Holy Father was looking well and happy. He promised to devote the upcoming Wednesday General Audience to St. John Vianney.

This is to be a regular focus during the coming year. You should get it as usual on EWTN or if you are French/Italian speaking the French bishops sponsor kto tv. They carry live broadcasts of almost everything the Holy Father does. There are also easily accessed repeat videos in case you miss the original events, which is also great where time zone difference is involved. I'll put up links for your convenience as soon as time allows.

Speaking of time, must get ready for the second spiritual visit to Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa.
Please pray for Fr. Mark who is preaching again this evening.

God bless all here.

In union of prayer,


Sunday, 2 August 2009

Thanks for all recent comments/emails; Music for the Triduum

Thanks everyone for all your comments and emails. If I haven't replied to you yet, you can be sure I will do so as soon as I can.

At the moment I'm finding music for the Tulsa Triduum on Youtube videos. Found everything (except the third hymn) in Latin or English and sent the videos to my probenoit16 address. I'll play them tonight as they occur in Father Mark's text for the Service. Sorry not had time to send them to all of you. Will try tomorrow, but can't promise!

In union of prayer,


Solemn Diocesan Triduum: Year of the Priesthood

Cathedral of the Holy Family
Tulsa, Oklahoma

August 2, 3, 4 at 6.30 in the evening

Father Mark has posted the full text (link at top of sidebar to right, above the Followers).

Father says, "Here, dear Fathers and other readers, is the full text of the booklet being prepared for the Solemn Diocesan Triduum in honor of Saint John Mary Vianney for the Diocese of Tulsa's observance of the Year of the Priest. Please feel free to use it as it is or to adapt it for your own needs."

If we can't be in Tulsa this evening and Monday and Tuesday, we can join the congregation spiritually. I'm praying that as many of you as possible will join me in doing that.

May God bless and strengthen Father Mark as he preaches at these three successive occasions. I do hope he will post these homilies on Vultus Christi later on!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Spiritual Mothers of Priests: Global witness, first report.

I will give more details of what people are actually doing as soon as possible, but for now here is the picture up to date.

Spiritual Mothers, and their friends are represented in the following countries:

In the USA:

Connecticut (in three dioceses)
Florida (Miami)
Hawaii (Honolulu)
New Jersey
Washington DC

(This means we're a fifth of the way to having known interest and/or commitment in every State. Congratulations and God bless America!)




* Temporary and returning to Canada in a year's time

United Kingdom:

3 spiritual 'sisters' in the Archdiocese of Birmingham
1 spiritual sister in another unknown diocese.

I think this is very encouraging after a mere week. Please network all your contacts at home and abroad. I've contacted a dear blogging friend in South Africa today. Australia tomorrow.

Thank you for all your comments and emails. More here tomorrow DV and another meditation for the chaplet when I can.

In union of prayer for Our Lord's beloved priests and His chief shepherd Benedict XVI