Spiritual Mothers of Priests

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In Union Our Lady's Yes

On the evening of March 24th, vigil of the Annunciation of the Lord, thirty-three women of the Diocese of Tulsa, having completed their initial formation as Spiritual Mothers of Priests, made their oblation during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered by His Excellency, Bishop Edward J. Slattery in Holy Family Cathedral. An exhortation by Bishop Slattery followed the singing of the Gospel of the Annunciation. His Excellency recalled the maternal solicitude for priests exemplified by Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Blessed Marie de Jésus Deluil-Martiny, the Servant of God Louise-Marguerite Claret de la Touche, and the Venerable Maria Concepción Cabrera. Then, he called the women to stand before the altar, just outside the sanctuary, where together they said:

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Holy Father (Jn 17:11), behold, I come to do Your will (Heb 10:9), placing myself, with all that I am, and all that I do, in the wounded hands of Your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Eternal Priest and immaculate Victim.

I entreat Him to unite my offering
to the Holy Sacrifice that is about to be renewed
upon the altar of this our Cathedral Church
for the sake of all thy priests,
and in particular for the priest-son
who will be entrusted to me.

Holy Father,
keep them from the Evil One (Jn 17:15)
and sanctify them in the truth (Jn 17:17)
that the love with which You have loved Your Only-Begotten Son
may be in them
and that Your Son Himself may be in them (Jn 17:26).

Bind them by a most tender love
to the Virgin Mary, Mother of all priests,
that, by her intercession, they may be
overshadowed by the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:35)
in every act of the Sacred Ministry.
Thus, may their priesthood,
supported by my humble oblation,
reveal the Face of Jesus and His Most Sacred Heart
for Your glory
and for the joy of the whole Church.

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The Blessed Medal

Bishop Slattery presented each woman with a blessed medal depicting a priest vested for Mass, helped by a woman -- Mother Church, Our Lady, a Spiritual Mother -- to raise a chalice made ready for to receive the Blood and the Water flowing from Our Lord's pierced side.

The medal bears, in Latin, the inscription of a text taken from the Rite of Ordination to the Priesthood, and addressed to the new priest: "Receive the power to offer sacrifice unto God."

Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may you wear this medal as the outward sign of your inner likeness to her maternal Heart, which is ever full of mercy and solicitude for her Son's priests.

A Priest Son for Each Mother

Then, His Excellency handed to each Spiritual Mother an envelope containing a profile of the priest entrusted to her, indicating some of his special challenges and needs. The name of the priest was not given to his Spiritual Mother, nor will he know her name. The mission of the Spiritual Mother is essentially hidden and silent.

Take as well the burdens of the priest whom you are adopting as your son; support him with your prayers, refresh him with the joy of your charity, and do penance for his sins and failings.

The formation of this first group of Spiritual Mothers will continue on a permanent basis, and other groups of women will also be formed for this precious and efficacious way of helping priests to grow in holiness.


Wonderful and lucky ladies !

May the Eucharistic Face of Christ shine upon
them and their spiritual sons !

Father, I cannot see the picture of the mother's

Dear Father, I agree with committed adorer. What about those of us at a distance? May I share this with some devout ladies of my acquaintance?

Father Mark,
What a blessing for these women! Is there a way to enter formation for Spiritual Motherhood from a distance? My diocese doesn't have anything like this... and the more I pray about it, the more I feel drawn to this. (Along with the Honor Guard Blessed Marie de Jesus began, and the Association for Victim Souls - which I'm still trying to find out more about - I have to send off a letter.) Do you have any advice for someone like me - someone who wants to become a Spiritual Mother, but doesn't have a priest or bishop who is interested? My priest hadn't even heard of it... (I live out in Oregon by the way.)


It's uncanny how things come about. I've been in discernment for some time, and came across oblique references to spiritual motherhood several times. Then suddenly, it hit me -- I'm responsible! I will be asked, "Where are your children?" There will be no physical children for me. I don't know if the monastery is for me; it is a long shot. And just when I am thinking about becoming a spiritual mother and how would that look, lo! I find this very subject in a blog! Spiritual motherhood is entirely consistent with my Consecration to Jesus through Mary, which I made in November on the Feast of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple. Perhaps my bishop would be willing to undertake the formation of women in the diocese just as Bishop Slattery has done. Your comments, particularly about formation and how to pursue this vocation would be most welcome.

How beautiful and marvelous this is! Those who do not live in that diocese - and men as well who feel called to support their brothers in Christ who are priests - can also do so through a society approved by the Vatican in 1981 and which has over 500 members today: the Oblates of the Precious Blood, who are affiliates of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood founded by the famous "priest's priest" Gerald Fitzgerald, s.P. (friend of Fr. John Hardon, S.J.)

After a year's solid and quite specific formation, candidates make their profession as Oblates, offering all they are and do for the spiritual support, sanctification, and ministry of priests. In addition, at the beginning of formation the Mother Prioress assigns an individual priest to each candidate (known by firstn name only).

Those who are not called to Oblation as affiliates of the Congregation can still participate in this apostolic work on behalf of priests by joining the "Lay Associates of the Priesthood" and being assigned an individual priest whom they adopt spiritually.

For information on any of these things check out this link http://www.ichrusa.com/saintsalive/precious/

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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