Happy Mother's Day, to the mothers of priests

Happy Mother's Day, to the mothers of priests May 5, 2011

Every priest has a mother — and now there’s news about a group of mothers who have banded together to support their sons’ vocations.

Details, from CNS:

When Father John Helmueller was ordained to the priesthood 10 years ago for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., he was not the only member of his family to assume a new role.

His mother Mary, who lives in Maplewood and is a parishioner at St. Jerome, felt so blessed to become the mother of a priest on that day. But at the same time, she wasn’t quite sure what that meant for her own life.

Helmueller began to think and pray about ways to make connections with other mothers whose sons were priests, whether in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis or elsewhere, so that they could come together to find support and companionship with one another.

Five years ago, Mary Helmueller contacted Father Joseph Johnson, rector at the Cathedral of St. Paul, looking for some assistance with her plan.

“He agreed to be our spiritual director and selected three other mothers of priests to help me start a group in the archdiocese,” Helmueller said.

Now, with close to 70 members throughout the archdiocese, the Mothers of Priests group has truly blossomed. Helmueller said there are four pillars on which the organization is based: prayer, catechesis, service and community.

Every mother is asked to attend daily Mass and pray the Rosary for priests and vocations each day. If they are able, the mothers are also asked to make a Holy Hour each week. In terms of catechesis, the mothers meet for 8am Mass on the first Saturday of each month and then gather for a mini-retreat.

The service component includes sending anniversary cards to all active and retired priests, serving homemade rolls and coffee after their monthly Mass at the cathedral and hosting a lunch for mothers of newly ordained priests in May.

“We visit the mothers of priests who are in nursing homes or can’t come to our meetings,” Helmueller said. “We also want to find a way to connect to mothers whose sons are in different orders of the priesthood and not in the archdiocese. We believe they need our support and friendship, too.”

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