EATONVILLE – At Our Lady of Good Counsel Mission, a small crucifix is inspiring families to pray for vocations to the priesthood and other church ministries.
“We need priests really bad,” said parishioner Judy Trummert, who participates in the Vocation Cross ministry at the Eatonville parish, which has about 100 households.
Before COVID-19, the crucifix was passed to a new family each week during the Saturday vigil Mass (Masses are set to resume June 13). After Communion, a family goes to the altar, where the pastor, Father Matthew O’Leary, prays over them before they receive the crucifix.
Each week, different parishioners at Our Lady of Good Counsel Mission in Eatonville take home this crucifix and a binder of vocation prayers and resources to help them as they pray for vocations to the priesthood and other ministries of the church. Photo: Rosemary Nordstrom
“I particularly like commissioning a household each weekend,” said Father O’Leary, who also is pastor of Holy Disciples Parish in Puyallup. All Catholics should pray, work for and nourish vocations, including calls to priestly ministry, he said.
Besides the crucifix, families receive a binder of vocation prayers and resources they can use during the week. They are invited to place the crucifix in a visible spot in their home, serving as a daily reminder to pray for vocations. When Trummert had the crucifix, she placed it near her rocking chair.
“I love adding the extra prayers to my daily prayers,” she said. “I feel like I’m praying for everybody.”
The Vocation Cross ministry was started in 2016 by Elaine DeRosier, who joined Our Lady of Good Counsel after moving to the area from Louisiana to care for family members. Seeing the shortage of priests here, she based the new ministry on a program back home.
“When I moved up there it was religious culture shock,” DeRosier said. In Louisiana, she explained, she could talk to priest whenever she needed to, but that wasn’t possible here.
“I feel that is a real loss for Catholics up there because it’s such an important part of my life,” said DeRosier, who moved back to Louisiana in 2017.
Father O’Leary said he would like to see more parishes in the archdiocese embrace the vocation cross ministry.
“It’s very important to pray for all the ministry needs we have,” the pastor said.
Prayer for receiving the vocation cross
May the Lord work through your prayers to move hearts to respond to the call to serve all of the ministries necessary for the mission of the Church, as we pray especially for priests to serve as pastors for our parishes.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.