Prayer for an Inclusive Priesthood

Antiphon: “I have made you a light for the nations, so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.” (Acts 13: 47)

Jesus, we bring to you our love and concern for the worldwide Church. We bring especially our love for the Eucharist, your body and blood. You are our Emmanuel, “God with us” who nourishes and strengthens our Catholic community.
We bring to you our mourning and our repentance. Too many of your people are deprived of your sacramental presence because of the human failures of a wounded Church. In many places of the world there are too few priests or no priests at all. People celebrate Eucharist only once a month, once a year or never. Too many of your people have suffered the loss of their parish homes because of the priest shortage.

Jesus, we know that you are with us always, even where there are no priests. But we also know you are the good shepherd who yearns to feed your people with your own substance through the ministry of those you call to be priestly shepherds.
We know you have called many men and women to minister to your people as priests, deacons and pastoral ministers. We know that many priestly calls are not recognized by the institutional church because the candidate is married or female. Our leaders have been slow to recognize the rich diversity of your summons to “feed my lambs...feed my sheep.”

We ask the guidance of your Spirit on the Cardinals and Bishops of our Church in Rome and worldwide. May the worldwide hunger for your Eucharistic presence be their first concern.

May they be open to the abundant calls the Spirit is pouring out on women and men, married and single to serve the Church as priests and deacons.

May your Spirit give us, as people who love the Eucharist, courage and grace to share our concerns and perspectives with our Bishop leaders.

May your Spirit give our Bishops the wisdom to listen.

Lead us all to that time of Eucharistic abundance so we become, once again your body and blood, poured out for the life of the world.

Antiphon: “I have made you a light for the nations, so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.” (Acts 13: 47)

Amen.

Prepared by Sr. Christine Schenk csj of FutureChurch