"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest" (Mt. 9, 37-38). Following Jesus’ command, The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit (MSpS) Felix Rougier House of Studies community in Mount Angel, Ore. prepared a holy hour to pray for vocations on the 23rd of September. We had a very positive response from the people who were invited, and the event had a positive impact on them.
|People praying for vocations in the plaza of the House of Studies|
Since the MSpS are involved in the life of Mount Angel Seminary, one priest as a formator and teacher, three priests as spiritual directors, and four as students, we extended the invitation to the holy hour to the seminary community. About twenty seminarians actively participated in this event even though the weather was not the best.
From 8:00 to 9:00 p.m.,roughly two hundred people from the Portland area and seminarians from Mount Angel Seminary were gathered to pray for vocations to religious life and to the priesthood. The prayer was done in a Taize style; therefore, candles, icons and Taize songs were part of our prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Since the prayer was held outdoors, we lit many candles on the floor and around the icons, which helped to create an ambience of stillness and peace.
|Prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament and the icons of Venerables Fr. Felix De Jesus Rougier and Conception Cabrera De Armida, the founders of the MSpS|
Andre Sicard, a College II seminarian from the Diocese of Salt Lake, played the piano for the holy hour. He said that the setup was outstanding and important for the event since “the setting itself really helped a lot of people to enter into the prayer.”
Andre mentioned that since part of our charism as MSpS is to support and pray for priests and seminarians “that [the event] was a good outreach of your charism for the whole community.”
Another goal for the holy hour, besides to pray for vocations, was to help the lay people be aware that promoting vocations is their task as well. Rev. Alex Rubio, MSpS, a member of our religious community and spiritual director at Mount Angel Seminary, was in charge of organizing the event. He said that “for our congregation, the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, and for the entire church, vocations are very important.”
Fr. Rubio also said: “It was very inspiring for me to see people truly entering into ambience of prayer [and] people were asking us, at the end of the event, when is the next one?” We are planning to have the holy hour for vocations once a year.