Eucharist Adoration for Vocations to Ordained Ministry and Consecrated Life
for use during the Year of the Eucharist
and designated for the Church in North America
Update on Vocations Monstrance
Thanks to Serra International, the traveling monstrance which began in February 2005 has traveled over 138,872 miles. It has visited 85 cities in the United States, making 99 round trips to and from Chicago. The monstrance is scheduled for eight more cities before July 2010. If you are still interested in having the vocations monstrance blessed by Pope John Paul II visit your parish, please contact the USA Council of Serra International at 1-888-777-6681.
Origins and Purpose of the Vocations Monstrance
On November 24, 2004 the late Pope John Paul II blessed six monstrances for use during the Year of the Eucharist for people to pray for an increase of vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life. The Year of the Eucharist began October 17, 2005 and concluded in October, 2006 with a world Synod of Bishops with the Eucharist as its theme. The monstrances were designated for Eucharistic adoration for vocations for each major continent or geographical area around the world as a symbol of the connection between the Eucharist and priestly vocations. The six regions given a monstrance are: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific.
Vocations Monstrance Comes to North America
The monstrance designated for North America was given to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on January 3, 2005. It was presented to the USCCB by Daniel Gonzales, national director of the website vocation.com and Father Anthony Bannon of the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order of priests.
The Bishops’ Committee on Vocations arranged for the monstrance to be sent to various dioceses throughout the United States and Canada, for use in cathedrals, parishes, campus/youth ministry programs, and seminaries/religious houses to facilitate prayer for vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life.
The Bishops’ Committee on Vocations decided to formally commence the process with a full day of Eucharistic Adoration at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on January 12, 2005. Bishop Blase J. Cupich, Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Vocations, presided at a Benediction and Mass at the end of this event. The next day, January 13, a day of Eucharistic Adoration for vocations was held at the USCCB itself. These events coincided with the celebration of Vocation Awareness Week in the United States, which is celebrated annually on the week following the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Vocations Monstrance Tours the United States
After these events, the monstrance was sent to Chicago for the Serra International Conference, held January 14-16, 2005. At the close of the Conference, the monstrance was sent to cathedrals, parishes and college campuses in dioceses and archdioceses around the country.
The Bishops’ Conferences of the United States and Canada were informed of the opportunity to obtain the monstrance in their dioceses. Bishops then submitted formal requests to the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation of the USCCB. These requests were then coordinated by Serra International and Serra USA Council, who maintained a ‘touring schedule’ and arranged for the shipment of the monstrance from one diocese to another.
The first diocese to receive the monstrance was Portland, Maine in February, 2005. A year later, the monstrance had traveled to over 45 dioceses throughout the U.S. and Canada by February, 2006. Due to the overwhelming volume of requests for the monstrance, the Bishops’ Committee on Vocations made a decision to prolong the availability of the monstrance beyond the end of the Year of the Eucharist, and as long as interest continues. There are now return visits to certain dioceses on the schedule and others have inquired regarding this possibility. The monstrance will continue to travel as long as it is requested.
Click here for a January 30, 2005 article from the National Catholic Register.
The USCCB invited dioceses which received the monstrance to send back Adoration sign-in sheets, photos and other materials. Below you will find information and photos provided by a few of the events from the monstrance’s travels throughout North America.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati was one of the first to receive the monstrance, and were able to celebrate Eucharistic Adoration for six days during Holy Week. During this time it was circulated to over eight different parishes for prayer for vocations, including St. Peter in Chains Cathedral.
The Archdiocese of New York hosted a Eucharistic Procession through downtown Manhattan for three consecutive days. The vocations monstrance visited over sixty parishes during this time, including St. Joseph's Seminary, Corpus Christi Monastery, Sisters of Life Convent, and Wagner College Newman Club, with Eucharistic liturgies and Adoration at every site. Homilies on vocations were preached by Avery Cardinal Dulles, Father Benedict Groeschel, Father Richard Neuhaus and others. It was during this Eucharistic procession that the Holy Father, John Paul II, passed away in Rome. Photographs from this event have been posted at the Archdiocese of New York’s vocation website. The procession was also filmed by Grassroots Films of Brooklyn, NY. That film, entitled ‘God on the Streets of New York City’, is available on the website vocation.com.
Bishop Paul S. Coakley requested the monstrance for the Diocese of Salina in Kansas. Since the diocese covers a large territory of Kansas, it was only able to hold two public events: in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina on August 2 and in St. Joseph Church in Hays on August 3. Bishop Coakley presided over Eucharistic liturgies at both events.
The Diocese of Harrisburg held a weekend of Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations, with Holy Hours at four parishes: St. John Neumann Parish (Lancaster), the Basilica of Ss. Cyril & Methodius (Danville), the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Hanover) and St. Patrick Cathedral (Harrisburg). The Eucharistic Holy Hours included a litany to the patron saints of the diocese and a litany and rosary for vocations. Over 1,000 signatures were collected on Holy Hour registries. Two television stations also covered the event. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, then newly-appointed Bishop of Harrisburg, celebrated Solemn Benediction at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston received the monstrance in late August, and hosted Adoration for Vocations at several parishes throughout the Houston area. The photo below was taken during the three-day period.
In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles adoration for vocations was held at the Juan Diego Chapel and then transferred to St. Anthony Parish, where incensation and final reposition occurred. Several hundred schoolchilren and parishioners accompanied the procession, and Auxiliary Bishop Alexander Salazar presided over a solemn benediction.
The Diocese of Brownsville circulated the monstrance to several parishes and shrines, for three days of prayer for vocations sponsored by the Serra Club of Brownsville. Several other organizations also supported the events: the Alhambra’s, the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Daughters.
In the Diocese of Madison the monstrance was carried in procession to and from several parishes and convents. The Serra Clubs of Madison and Janesville helped to coordinate the events. A holy hour was held in conjunction with a Diocesan Youth Rally, and also at Schoenstatt Shrine in Madison.
Bishop Garland invited the monstrance to the Diocese of Marquette for a day of prayer at St. Peter’s Cathedral on the evening of November 30, 2005. It remained in the cathedral chapel through December 1.
If you are interested in obtaining the Vocations Monstrance in your diocese, please contact your vocation director.