Prayer for the priests at your parish is relatively easy to get started. Here are simple steps that will help you along the way:
Talk to your pastor. It’s very important that this prayer initiative be entirely lay run – it should not involve more work for your pastor or other priests at your parish. Ask your pastor’s permission to get the prayer initiative started but emphasize that it will not involve more work for him or the other priests, nor will it appear to the parish that Father is asking for something that may be perceived as self-serving. Printing out the suggested Parish Prayer Overview for your pastor may help him understand the movement.
Gather a group to spearhead the initiative. Find other like-minded parishioners who can help bring this to the parish at large. Meet to explain the initiative and print out copies of the Parish Prayer Overview for each person.
Decide how you will pray. Look through the ideas here or come up with your own. Join our Facebook page to talk with others who are praying, and feel free to email Maria Regina Cleri for advice. We’ll help in any way we can.
Promote the effort. We have found that many people have a deep calling to pray for priests, and when you begin your promotion, you may find that these fellow parishioners will join your effort quickly. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to heavily promote the effort and continue to promote it. Don’t get discouraged. Few of us really understand the importance of the priesthood, so this may be new for many in your parish. In addition, the evil one will likely try to discourage you and others since he knows your prayers are so efficacious. Praying to the Holy Spirit to inspire people to join you in prayer is essential, and it’s a good idea to continually pray for your efforts and seek assistance from St. Michael. The prayer effort should typically be promoted where fellow parishioners will see it. These are the expected places such as the bulletin, narthex or other gathering space, plus church website and social media. You also might consider promoting it at your parish ministry fair or festival.
Keep it going. The easiest way to keep prayer for your priests going is to integrate it into parish life. We recommend beginning the effort outside of a special liturgical season such as Lent or Advent where parishioners may tend to see it as something done only on special occasions. You will want to establish a point person or persons who are in charge of ensuring the effort continues to run smoothly. The more you can integrate it into the natural life of the parish, the steadier and more effective it will be.