As some of you may be aware from reading The Tidings, Cardinal Mahony has declared this year (November 1, 2005 – October 31, 2006) a Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations. He has asked the priests to be especially diligent in helping the people of God of Los Angeles to be aware of the severity of the priest shortage here in our archdiocese. I don’t have any claims on the mind of God and I do not intend to scare anyone, but I do know that the following scenario could be a potential reality: 10 years from now, there could possibly be only 1 priest at Holy Trinity.
We must not be alarmed. Our God is a God of abundance. We believe that He will truly answer our prayers and that our needs will be met. We certainly anticipate and hope for strong lay involvement in all of our parishes. The parishes do not “belong” to the priests. Regardless of how much lay involvement we are blessed with, the reality is that we are a sacramental church. This is one factor that differentiates us from other faiths. The sacraments are essential for our spiritual well-being. Consequently, regardless of the model of the church or the parish that we have or that we desire, we truly need the ordained to serve the faithful. Thus, we are really stepping up our prayers for vocations to the priesthood.
Beginning on November 1, we, at Holy Trinity, will be praying a special prayer that the Cardinal has given to us to pray each time we celebrate the Eucharist. It will be provided on card stock and be kept in the pews for daily usage. We also anticipate weekly petitions that will come from the archdiocese along with a weekly prayer to appear in our bulletin. We appreciate all of your prayers, love, support, kindness and generosity. It simply makes our service to you that much more rewarding. God Bless us all with an abundance of healthy, holy, dedicated and balanced (and fun!) men of prayer, willing to serve in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.