Novena of Masses to the Holy Family of Nazareth
Offered for you and your intentions, beginning December 21 and ending December 30.
Please join us by praying the Novena Prayer below.
Pope Benedict XVI spoke to priests and parents in Ancona, Italy on September 12, 2011 about the family’s importance in pastoral activity and its connection to the priesthood. Here is a translation and shortened excerpt of Benedict XVI’s address::
No Vocation is a Private Issue
At the ecclesial level, to appreciate the family means to recognize its importance in pastoral activity. The ministry born from the sacrament of matrimony is important for the life of the Church: The family is the privileged place for human and Christian education and continues to be, for this end, the best ally of the priestly ministry; it is a precious gift for the building up of the community. The priest’s closeness to the family helps him in turn to become aware of his own profound reality and his own mission, fostering the development of a strong ecclesial sensitivity. No vocation is a private issue, and matrimony much less so, because its horizon is the whole Church. Hence, in pastoral work, it is a question of being able to integrate and harmonize the priestly ministry with “the authentic Gospel of matrimony and of the family” (encyclical “Familiaris Consortio,” 8), for a real and fraternal communion. And the Eucharist is the center and the source of this unity, which animates all the action of the Church.
[…] Dear priests, by the gift that you received at ordination, you are called to serve the ecclesial community as pastors, this community that is a “family of families,” and, hence, you are called to love each one with a paternal heart, with genuine forgetfulness of yourselves, with full, continual and faithful dedication. […] Encourage spouses, share their educational responsibilities, help them to continually renew the grace of their marriage. Make the family a protagonist in pastoral work. […] Dear friends, I entrust you all to the protection of Mary, venerated in this cathedral with the title “Queen of All Saints.” Tradition joins her image to the ex-voto of a sailor, in thanksgiving for the salvation of his son, who came through a storm at sea unharmed. May the maternal gaze of the Mother also accompany your steps in holiness to a port of peace.
On the Internet
Pope Benedict’s full address can be found at: http://www.zenit.org/article-33407?l=english n
The Novena Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, true center of the Holy Family, we come to you asking for your mercy and love. Because you assumed a human nature, you were able to love with a human heart, think with a human mind, and experience what it means to have a human father and mother. You also subjected yourself to your own creation, setting an example for us to be obedient to God our Father and to always seek and do His Will. We ask you to bless us, bless our families, all the religious communities and dioceses involved in our ministry, and to grant these specific intentions we bring to you during this novena, (mention novena petitions here). We ask these special intentions in faith, through your Most Holy Mother and your faithful foster father, St. Joseph, knowing that as you answered their requests on earth, you also answer their requests in your heavenly kingdom. Therefore, if these petitions are in accord with your holy Will, please grant them in your most Holy Name. Amen.