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The Beacon Beacon_December 29 2016 : Page 1

6 S TILL TIME TO DON A TE TO C HRI S TM AS S H A RING FUND SUSSEX PASSAIC THE A W A RDWINNING NEW S P A PER OF THE R. C . DIO C E S E OF P A TER S ON, N.J. MORRIS DECEMBER 29, 2016 12 The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard 4 BI S HOP C ELEBR A TE S C HRI S TM AS D A Y M ASS IN RINGWOOD C HUR C H 8-9 10-11 12 13 14-15 DO NOT DELAY — TIME SENSITIVE NEWS A LOOK B AC K A T 2016 IN THE DIO C E S E V IEWPOINT W HAT T O D O O BITUARIES C LASSIFIEDS MIDNIGHT MASS Bishop Serratelli celebrates Midnight Mass at St. Joseph Church in Passaic on Dec. 25 to mark the Nativity of the Lord. At the Mass, BEACON PHOTO | JOE GIGLI many parishioners from the Polish community, who filled the church to capacity and beyond, wore traditional Polish attire to mark the celebration of Christ’s birth. For story, more photos, see page 2. Vernon parish’s initiative encourages prayer, discussion P RAYER C HALICE FOR V OCATIONS By MICHAEL WOJCIK NE WS EDIT OR VERNON During one week recent-ly, the Prayer Chalice for Vocations of St. Francis de Sales Parish here occupied a prominent spot in the Poole household: on a prayer table in the spare room next to religious images of Jesus and Mary. Even though it rested quietly on that table for a while, the chalice, which sits in a wooden box, prompted lots of questions among family members about life, God and his call for some to a religious vocation. Every night, the Pooles — Linda, Chris and their children, Sean, 8, Elizabeth, 7, and Ryan, 5 — gath-ered around the prayer table to pray for vocations. They also shared what happened during their day, where the saw the presence of God in it and how that might relate to voca-tions. On the first Sunday of Advent, St. Francis joined other parishes in the Diocese in starting a program that encourages families to invite the traveling chalice into their homes for a week at a time to pray for and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. For these families, the chalice becomes a tangible reminder of this special intention for the Church. “We asked our children, ‘How would seeing where God is in our lives make us good priests, religious, married people or single people?’ We talked about why we need priests and religious and why we need people to follow that call,” said Linda Allen-Poole, whose family prays every night and attends Mass weekly. “Sean asked, ‘Why doesn’t God just tell me [what he wants me to do]?’ Later, he said, ‘God wants me to do what makes me happy be-cause he loves me,’ ” she said. On each Saturday until June, families will be returning the chalice to St. Francis, so the next family can accept it into their home. About 15 families have signed up so far, which takes the program to the end of January. The chalice, which the parish had in its procession for a while, sits in “beautiful wooden box build specifically for traveling to a parishioner’s home. Families can view the chalice through a Plexiglas panel in the front of the box and are asked to place it in a location of honor in their homes. They re-ceive a pamphlet that contains in-formation about vocations; prayers for vocations, including ones writ -ten by Pope Francis and Bishop Serratelli; and discussion questions, especially for the children,” Father Brian Quinn, pastor of St. Francis parish, said. “We always need to pray for vo-cations. Having the Prayer Chalice for Vocations in their homes reminds families of that,” said Father Quinn, who put together the pamphlet, us-ing information from various sources, including from the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) and other dioceses. CHALICE on 4

Vernon Parish’s Initiative Encourages Prayer, Discussion

Michael Wojcik

PRAYER CHALICE FOR VOCATIONS

VERNON During one week recently, the Prayer Chalice for Vocations of St. Francis de Sales Parish here occupied a prominent spot in the Poole household: on a prayer table in the spare room next to religious images of Jesus and Mary. Even though it rested quietly on that table for a while, the chalice, which sits in a wooden box, prompted lots of questions among family members about life, God and his call for some to a religious vocation.

Every night, the Pooles — Linda, Chris and their children, Sean, 8, Elizabeth, 7, and Ryan, 5 — gathered around the prayer table to pray for vocations. They also shared what happened during their day, where the saw the presence of God in it and how that might relate to vocations. On the first Sunday of Advent, St. Francis joined other parishes in the Diocese in starting a program that encourages families to invite the traveling chalice into their homes for a week at a time to pray for and promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life. For these families, the chalice becomes a tangible reminder of this special intention for the Church.

“We asked our children, ‘How would seeing where God is in our lives make us good priests, religious, married people or single people?’ We talked about why we need priests and religious and why we need people to follow that call,” said Linda Allen-Poole, whose family prays every night and attends Mass weekly. “Sean asked, ‘Why doesn’t God just tell me [what he wants me to do]?’ Later, he said, ‘God wants me to do what makes me happy because he loves me,’ ” she said.

On each Saturday until June, families will be returning the chalice to St. Francis, so the next family can accept it into their home. About 15 families have signed up so far, which takes the program to the end of January. The chalice, which the parish had in its procession for a while, sits in “beautiful wooden box build specifically for traveling to a parishioner’s home. Families can view the chalice through a Plexiglas panel in the front of the box and are asked to place it in a location of honor in their homes. They receive a pamphlet that contains information about vocations; prayers for vocations, including ones writ - ten by Pope Francis and Bishop Serratelli; and discussion questions, especially for the children,” Father Brian Quinn, pastor of St. Francis parish, said.

“We always need to pray for vocations. Having the Prayer Chalice for Vocations in their homes reminds families of that,” said Father Quinn, who put together the pamphlet, using information from various sources, including from the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) and other dioceses.

The pamphlet describes a vocation as “a special invitation from God to serve him in a specific way of living. Most people are called to the vocation of marriage, a beautiful vocation, where a man and a woman live out their call to holiness by leading each other and their children to heaven.”

“However, what is usually meant when people use the word ‘vocation’ is a calling to the priesthood or consecrated life. Our creator calls some individuals, in a very personal way, to follow and serve Christ and his Church by dedicating every aspect of their lives to them,” the pamphlet states. “As a parish, we have an opportunity to pray, not only for our current priests, deacons and religious brothers and sisters, but also for vocations to the priesthood and religious life within our parish and Diocese.”

Families are encouraged to gather with the chalice clearly in everyone’s sight. They pray to ask the Father to send his Holy Spirit to all, using the opening prayer.

“Loving God, we thank you for the gift of life. Through Baptism, you invite us to share the gift of our lives in the service of others. Give us the strength and grace we need to do so. We ask for the courage and generosity to respond to your love, to your call,” the opening prayer intones. “Pray for those in consecrated life. Open the minds and hearts of many other men and women from within our communities that they may accept your invitation to serve.”

After, the hosts might choose to engage in a discussion, possibly prompted by the following daily questions in the pamphlet at a level that works best for the family:

• Why do we have a blessed chalice here in our home? What does God want us to do? What is vocation?

• How do I know what God is calling me to do? Will God make a lot of noise to tell me what he wants me to do? Will prayer help me know what God wants?

• “Let it be done to me as you say.” When God does call us, do we respond generously to God’s will?

• Does God call you or do you tell God what you want to do? How do you know God’s love in your life?

• Do all vocations fit together in God’s scheme? How much does God love us?

• Would there be any holy vocations to the priesthood or religious life if they did not have the support of their families?

Then, families are encouraged to conclude their prayer time with the Diocesan Prayer for Vocations, written by Bishop Serratelli, or another prayer in the pamphlet.

After a positive and holy visit with the Prayer Chalice for Vocations, Allen-Poole said that she would consider hosting it again.

“It was good to have something to focus on while we were praying for and talking about vocations. It was a good visual experience,” Poole said.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Vernon+Parish%E2%80%99s+Initiative+Encourages+Prayer%2C+Discussion/2674993/372163/article.html.

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