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Novena to the Holy Spirit for an Inclusive Priesthood
for the Church's Year for the Priest

to be prayed on the first Friday of the month-
February 5

Dear Friends:

As you may know, the Pope has named this year the Year for Priests.  When you look at your diocesan website, the Vatican website, the USSCB (United States Catholic Conference of Bishops) website and perhaps even your parish website, you become aware of the great amount of effort being put forth to support our priests and foster vocations.

We at FutureChurch want to support our priests as well, but also support all those called to priesthood but cannot serve because of current church teaching.  By accessing our great tradition of intercessory prayer, we have written a Novena to the Holy Spirit for an Inclusive Priesthood. 

We ask you to pray this novena on the first Friday of every month until the end of the Vatican Year for Priests in June, 2010.  We will send you a reminder a few days before each first Friday.

Novena to the Holy Spirit for an Inclusive Priesthood
to be prayed on the first Friday of every month
during the Church's
Year for Priests

Holy Spirit, I believe in your work among us and within us.  I ask for your intercession in this month of February, the month where we celebrate our love for one another. May our love and prayers bring new beginnings for our church and the priesthood.

 I come to you committed to the full expression of the gospel through the work of the church.  I am saddened by the lack of priests to provide the Eucharist, the Bread of Life, especially in the developing world.  I am one of many who hunger for an inclusive priesthood that allows all who are so called to discern ministry to the People of God as a deacon or a priest.

 I ask your grace and intercession:

O Holy Spirit, may the fire of your love renew priests all over the world in love and service to the People of God.

O Holy Spirit, let our Church celebrate the gift of celibacy as a powerful grace and yet recognize that it is not given to all called to the ministerial priesthood. We pray for the day that both celibate and married priests serve you through the sacrament of Holy Orders.

O Holy Spirit, let our Church celebrate the powerful expression of love and commitment that is the gift of marriage, a gift that can only enhance the ministerial priesthood for those so called.

O Holy Spirit, continue gifting Catholic women with love, service, and trust that their faithful perseverance will one day lead to structures that mirror their full baptismal equality in the Catholic Church.

O Holy Spirit, open the hearts and ears of our bishops and our Pope to support and encourage the diaconal and presbyteral calls of both married and celibate Catholics.

O Holy Spirit, I bring to you my love and concern for the worldwide Church and ask for your guidance as we move ever closer to the reign of God where all have a place at the table of God.

In addition to praying the novena we ask you to send electronic or paper postcards to Cardinal Hummes at the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome to open discussion of optional celibacy at the highest levels of the Church (you can also cc your local bishop at the same time if you wish).

Nearly 2,000 paper and electronic postcards have already been ordered and/or sent to Cardinal Hummes. 
Cardinal Hummes himself spoke in favor of discussing celibacy rules before he left Brazil.  Also, it is likely that his office is already familiar with parishes closing because of the priest shortage since the burgeoning number of appeals (50 from the US alone, so far) from devastated parishioners land on his desk.

Over thirty people have ordered education/advocacy resources to begin educational programs and prayer experiences, and an additional 1,000 postcards have been ordered and sent to local bishops in the U.S. 

P.S. Please visit our new online store: the Magdala Market, for paper postcards to send to Cardinal Hummes, packet resources, prayer cards and free downloads.

With gratitude for your prayers and actions towards a more inclusive priesthood,

the FutureChurch staff

dinner dove
Optional Celibacy:
So All Can Be
At the Table

Donate Now
 and support the Optional Celibacy Initiative

Lakewood-based FutureChurch leads effort to press Catholic Church to allow married priests                         By Michael O'Malley, The Plain Dealer

Send an e-postcard to Cardinal Hummes and your local bishop   
Download optional celibacy education and prayer resources

Purchase the
 Future of Priestly Ministry
Save Our Parish Community
education &
advocacy packets
Learn More about the Optional Celibacy project

Visit Parishwatch: Tracking Parish Closings in North America

Forward this message to all your concerned Catholic friends!