Bishop Joseph Perry: Family Prayer for Vocations

Parent(s):

Good Lord, we beg your blessing upon our family.  We thank you for the children with which you have blessed us.  Bless us as we use this day to give you praise.  Help our children grow towards you through the various things they learn about the mysteries of life and creation sewn by your hand. Grant wisdom to me/us their parent(s), their teachers and others you have given to guide them.  Preserve our efforts to give our children all that they deserve.

We pray you grace our children with faith, openness of heart, a willingness to learn, a desire to do good to others as you have taught.  Keep them ever strong and ready for any test of character.  As they grow in knowledge and experience inspire in our children a desire to serve you in holiness of life.  In whatever walk of life they choose be for them a true path to your kingdom. May you find among our children generous hearts to serve you and the Church perhaps as a priest, or religious brother or sister.  Should their Calling be to extend this family of ours, may theirs be a holy matrimony and family life after the example of your life with Mary and Joseph. 

Child/Children:

O Jesus, whisper in my heart how I might best serve you.  Make me strong in faith, always attentive to people’s needs, ever spiritual, understanding and charitable.  Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much.  Bless our priest(s) and religious who serve(s) us.  Bless my parents, our bishop and pastors and all who help the Church’s work.

Family:

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, increase the number of our priests and religious men and women.  Preserve them for your Church.  Keep them zealous in their vocation and successful in their labors.  May they do all things for love of you and the Church.  We pray through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.  AMEN

Bishop Joseph N Perry

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Sub-Committee on African American Affairs

2020

Click here for more prayers by Bishop Perry

Bishop Joseph Perry: A Prayer for Employment

Pray this each day, whether or not you are employed.

O God, Father of us all, You bestow on us gifts and talents to develop and use in accord with your Will and to advance your kingdom on earth.  Grant to me, through the intercession of Saint Joseph, the man chosen by God to care for you in your childhood and youth, employment and work that I may with dignity provide for my family. Grant me the opportunities to use my energy and abilities for the good of those who depend upon me for care and support.  You placed me in charge of this family.  I beseech your assistance in helping me provide for them as you would have me do. You are our God and head of this family.  Amen

Bishop Joseph N Perry

Click here to download (PDF) copy

Prayer Of One Who Serves As A Member Of The Police

By Bishop Joseph N. Perry

O good Lord, I know well that thou art all perfect and are in need of nothing.  Yet, I know that thou hast taken upon thyself the nature of man and, not only so, but in that nature didst come upon this earth and suffer all manner of evil and didst die for our sake.  This is sacred history which has spilled from the heavens with light and glory and great promise for all who believe in thee.

O dear Lord, thou didst suffer in no ordinary way but unheard of and extreme torments.  Indeed your agony still cries from the streets where we labor.  This is the truth of the Gospel which has shaped my vision and my hope for all that is meaningful to me.  You are the one foundation, Jesus Christ crucified.  I know it O Lord, I believe it and I place this faith steadily before my eyes and heart.

And, here I am, a member of the police force, sworn to serve and protect the citizens of our city and in so doing bound to meet up with the two glaring portraits of life, sin and evil, goodness and virtue that collide on the streets of the living.  I cannot do this task alone.  All I know is that I am in sore need of your guidance and direction that I may judge wisely and discern truthfully; that especially in times of danger I may offer my life to you and for others and that in face of genuine encounters with the virtue of citizens I may praise them and be for them myself a symbol of honor and justice. 

I left home this day to serve thee and thy people.  I pray you bring me back home safely with my family and loved ones, only to again serve as I am want to do this day and every day. In all things honoring you as the Lord of my life, AMEN

Bishop Joseph N Perry – Archdiocese of Chicago – 2020

Prayer for Priests

Prayer for Priests –

Let us pray for our priests and bishops, those we know, those we don’t know, those who have made positive impact on our lives, those who live daily in fidelity the sacrifices, renunciations and service that redound to their sacred ordination pledge. In Christian charity, let us also pray for priests and bishops who have fallen along the way.

— Bishop Joseph N Perry

Lord Jesus, you have chosen your priests and bishops from among us and sent them out to proclaim your Word, to act in your Name. For so great a gift to your Church we give you praise and thanksgiving.

Inspire them through prayer to live each day the mystery of your dying and rising. Make them constant in prayer for us poor sinners. May the Holy Spirit put your word on their lips and your love in their hearts to bring good news to the poor and healing to the broken-hearted.

And may the gift of Mary your mother to the disciple whom He loved, be your gift to every priest. Grant that she who formed you in her human image may form them in your divine image by the power of your Spirit, to the glory of God the Father.

Heavenly Father, send your blessing upon these priestly chosen ones. Fill them with the fire of your love that their ministry may reveal your presence in the Church. May your power shine through their weakness since they are earthen vessels. In their affliction let them never be crushed; in their doubts never despair; in temptation never be destroyed; in persecution never abandoned. In times weakness send them your Spirit and help them always to praise you now and forever. AMEN

Adapted from

THE VERITAS BOOK OF BLESSING PRAYERS

Veritas Publications, Dublin 1989

Bishop Joseph N Perry: Keep Us Thankful O Lord

10 lepers approached Jesus with the request that He heal them.  Jesus instructed them to first go to the priests and offer what Moses has prescribed.  And, on their way they were  cleansed.  One of them, realizing he had been cured, retook his steps to find Jesus and express his gratitude to God.  Jesus, upon receiving the man, was surprised that only one was inspired enough to give God thanks.  “Where are the other nine,” Jesus explained, sadly.  “Was there no one to give thanks to God except this foreigner?”  Luke 17, 11-19

In my short life thus far I have come to understand that thanksgiving takes on its highest meaning following experiences like suffering, chaos, deprivation, poverty and loss.

We raise our children to say thank-you whenever they receive something from someone’s generosity.  However, it takes time and life-experience for our children to understand the real power behind thanks.

For the pilgrims of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, of that first Thanksgiving in the year of our Lord 1621, the beauty of the world was found in its bounty.  They could hear the author of the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy say, “The Lord, your God, is bringing you into a good country, a land with streams of water, with springs and fountains welling up in the hills and valleys, a land of wheat and barley, of vine and fig trees.”

Having arrived in an untamed world underneath it all for them was a deep love of nature and a sense that God was everywhere in the beauty and bounty of the earth.  They knelt to give thanks for that generous gift.  They were now safe after a long arduous journey and a hard winter of deprivation and the deaths of a number of their companions.

Now, in the Plymouth wilderness sitting down with first Americans, eating foods from the wild never before tasted, undoubtedly motivated by gratitude for survival but more deeply moved by a recognition that the graciousness of God had pulled them through the dark, cold days of the struggle to form a new colony away from oppression and religious persecution in their homeland from whence they came.

Pilgrims, they were trustees for future generations and were to set an example for a civilized new world, to, as St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians urges, sing “with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

So, where do the lepers of today’s Gospel come in?  Well, their story is one of giving and receiving.  A thanksgiving story, no doubt.

The inability to give or show gratitude is a mark of disfigurement, a kind of spiritual leprosy.  One who can neither give nor receive can never enter into a relationship of grace, a covenant of love. The leper who returned to Jesus to say “thanks” enters into a relationship with God.

The other nine stood far off, negating even the possibility that something could happen. They stood on the fringes of life because they could not, in their hearts, find time to give thanks. Their spirits remained leprous.  It is almost as if they took for granted that they would be cured, as if it were their right.  Their bodies were now whole, their souls still marked with decay.

Everyone of us has something for which to be thankful.  It helps, I think, to recall the chaos, suffering, deprivation that has marked your life so that power can be given the thanks you raise in prayer on Thanksgiving Day.  For there is wisdom to be discovered from the crosses we are asked to carry in life.

Like the pilgrims, most of us have fought the storms, banished the threats, overcome the fears and made covenants of friendship with God and each other. We are all pilgrims walking an earthly path on the way to a heavenly land where we will be giving thanks for all eternity.

Sitting down to the big meal seems like the highlight of Thanksgiving, but the highlight really comes a couple hours later.  The pumpkin pie is gone, the turkey is picked over, the dishes are done, relatives, friends and guests are gone, the kids and pets are snoozing and somehow, when all is quieted down, the labor for the feast is done, in the depth of your soul you join a whole nation, satiated with food and drink, as if embraced by the wide arms of God, and give a sigh of relief and say “Thank you God!”

Before you sit down to feast at a table others have prepared, remember to say thanks to the wife, the kids and anyone else who deserves to sense your heart and feel what you really mean to them.  Remember to lead your household in prayer in thanks to an all provident God!

We are born into this world with empty hands and we take nothing from this world with us in the end.  All that we have, we receive from the generosity of God.  Today, we thank God for his care of us and praise him for his kindness.

Please respond, “Keep us thankful O Lord!”

  1. We give you thanks O God for our Holy Father the Pope, our bishop, and his assistant bishops and all of our pastors who share in your ministry and authority; that you may guide them so that they exercise your power wisely, let us pray to the Lord.
  2. We give thanks O God for the many blessings you have showered upon us. For those who have not received as much of your bounty, for the poor and needy of your world, the unemployed and those who struggle in any way, we pray to the Lord.
  3. We give thanks O God for your limitless mercy and the treasury of your goodness which you share with us.  That those who do not recognize your love may become aware of your kindness, let us pray to the Lord.
  4. We give thanks O God for the family and friends you have given us.  That they may always know your generosity and protection and be appreciative of your gifts, let us pray to the Lord.
  5. We give thanks O God for the gift of redemption and the forgiveness of our sins; that our lives may show forth more clearly the predilection we enjoy by your Son’s death and resurrection for our sakes, we pray to the Lord.

Almighty Father, we give thanks to your majesty for the many gifts we have received; we ask you to continue your kindness and forsake us not, through Christ our Lord.  Amen!

+ JNP 2011

 

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Own Your Actions: The Virtues of a Catholic Man

As a man, how do you like being lied to? If you’re like me, the answer is “not much”.

I have found over the years the best way to find a true friend is to be one,

And the best way to find trust from others is to own your actions:

Say what you mean.

Do what you say.

Be accountable for what you say and what you mean.

Others will treat you the same way, because they know what to expect from you, and what you then expect from them.

How is this done?

Live Bishop Perry’s virtues-of-a-catholic-man (PDF File), read below.

Start with one Virtue and get it right before you move to the next one.

Many men report this to help transform their lives from good intentions into right-action and to be the best version of themselves, and more like the Man God’s calls them to be.

Peace to you!

Frank J Casella, CMCS Executive Director

Virtues of a Catholic Man

  • A Catholic man has some sense of what or whom he would die for if
    necessary.
  • A Catholic man passes his faith to his children and sees to their religious education.
  • A Catholic man informs himself about his faith, reads Scripture, select
    Catholic literature, and studies the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  • A Catholic man insures that there are sacred symbols in his household, such as, a crucifix(es), Bible, use of sacramentals such as the Advent wreath, Christmas cre`che, etc.
  • A Catholic man leads prayer in his household at significant domestic
    events, such as, birth, Baptism, graduation, marriage, illness, death, and other special meals and events with use of a passage from Scripture or other Catholic sources.
  • A Catholic man practices presence with his wife and children.
  • A Catholic man invests himself in some project or apostolate at the
    parish or diocesan level.
  • A Catholic man is faithful to his wife, his children, his Church and his
    friends, indeed all his commitments.

© Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago

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Called To Holiness – Tools For The Catholic Man

Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. – Daniel 9:3

By Frank J Casela

“Some day I want to be like him”.  Have you ever said those words about your Dad?  “Some day I want to be like him”.
 
If your answer is ‘Yes’, consider yourself blessed.  In our culture, boy’s (and girls) with Fathers absent in homes, or who do not have presence, usually beget Father’s absent in homes.

The same is true for teaching (by example) the Catholic Faith in our home. Recent studies tell us that Dads determine the church habits of their children and thus to a significant degree their eternal destiny.  According to one study, if a father does not go to church no matter how faithful the mother is, only one child in fifty will become regular church goers.

Many Men who are high-powered in the board room, are passive in the family room. We come home from work and – like a big kid – veg out and play games first with our kids, instead of mentoring them by giving our wife time (if she is home from also working) – and cultivate the marriage.  You know how it goes: “the best gift that a Father can give his kids is to love their Mother”.

Men — In the home moms do the nurturing … dads build identity.

Whether or not you are married, what is your character as a man?  What is Character?  Character is what you do when no body is looking. In other words, what are you thinking when you see a woman in church wearing (immodest) flip-flops and short shorts?  Do you think about your own needs and desires or, do you view her as a person and women, another man’s daughter, and see her heart? (It is known in the Vatican for women to ‘cover-up’ their beauty, as to not distract from the Mass)

Men — In the Bible, Eve sinned because Adam was silent …. are you silent?

… Or are you holy and courageous, work to improve your marriage, be better father to your children, grow in virtue, serve the needs of others more generously, be active participants in your parish, and be a better citizen.
 
Here is my short list of tools for the Catholic Man:

When I meet Dad’s for coffee each week, many of them admit to me their kids get everything they want, more than they themselves ever had as a kid … but they don’t do anything about it.   The Catholic Bible says “Do not withhold discipline from youths; if you beat them with the rod, they will not die”. Prov. 23:13  In other words, men, it’s okay … give yourself permission to tell your child “NO”. Your kids will respect you for it.
… Pope Francis said on February 8th, 2015: “Effective fathers do not create robot sons who merely repeat verbatim what has been drilled into them. Rather, an effective father transmits wisdom right into his son’s core, enabling him to feel and act, to speak and judge with wisdom and righteousness.”  It is not easy to transmit this heritage of wisdom; a father must be close, gentle but firm with his children.

Penetrate and fill your wife’s heart with your love an affection.  Because, guy’s, when we don’t fill our wives heart, someone or something else will.  It goes back to Adam and Eve: Adam was not protecting Eve’s heart. Women share with me about their husbands saying that “I don’t want his money …as much as I want HIM”.  In other words, men, what she means is that when she doesn’t have YOU … she wants your money.

Read your Bible daily.  Don’t have one?  Start with the “Today’s Reading” on USCCB.org.  Make sure that what you’re reading is a Catholic Bible, as it has the added books called the Apocrypha giving you the fullness of our Catholic Faith. The Bears’ Pat McCaskey shared at our Chicago Men’s Conference that you can read the Bible in a year and still have time off for Christmas.   Don’t forget to have a copy of the Catechism too.

Live the Virtues of a Catholic Man by Bishop Joseph Perry.  Men — Start with one virtue and don’t move to the next until you have it mastered. Download it here.  Live them!

Join or start a Parish Men’s Small Group.  This is where a half-dozen or so Catholic Men meet to share and encourage each other about the challenges they face in the workplace and at home. Contact us for information.

Spend time with your children every day.  Either reading to them if they are young, or in a meaningful conversation.
MEN — The average Dad spends only seven minutes a day with each of his children.
… Pope Francis, in fact, said “To form a child with a wise heart, a father must be present to his children, he has to “be there” for them. This presence is exemplified by Joseph, who famously, never speaks,  yet he provides a silent witness which is powerful.”  Pope Francis understands the dynamics of good fathering – To be present.

Embrace your Catholic Faith. Trust it, and make your life – more of Christ and less of you.   Many of us Men identify ourselves by our paycheck or the sports Jersey we wear, instead of being a child of God, Husband, or Father. Where do we turn when we lose our job or that Jersey gets too small for us to wear?
Men — Give your personal agenda to God … don’t take it back … then watch what He does with it.

Attend weekly Mass or regular Adoration with the Eucharist.  …. and pray for and WITH your wife and family.  Click for A Man’s Prayer by Bishop Perry.  For example, the greatest image I have of my late father is how he prayed each morning in in a room with the lights out – just him and God – before leaving for work. The greatest image my boys say they have of me is how I kiss the crucifix each morning as soon as I wake up.
Men — When you go to Mass each Sunday, bring yourselves to the Altar … to the Eucharist … as a living sacrifice.

Turn off the TV and read some books!  ‘Journey to Heaven’  — Randy Hain  or  ‘Be A Man’ —  Fr. Larry Richards  Don’t have time …. again, turn off the TV.  Find resources for Catholic men here.

Men — in the end, life is God’s gift to you … what you do with your life is your gift to God.

Make a commitment to holiness …. In the words of Pope Francis “The Church, our Mother, is committed to supporting with all her strength the good and generous presence of fathers in families, because they are, for the new generations, irreplaceable custodians and mediators of faith in goodness, in justice and in the protection of God, as Saint Joseph.”

Thus the mission of CMCS — Living the Goodness of a Catholic Man.

 
Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. – Daniel 9:3

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Frank J Casella is Executive Director of Catholic Men Chicago Southland CMCSVirtues.org

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