PROMOTING HOMEGROWN VOCATIONS THROUGH THE STOLE & CHALICE PROGRAM
Throughout the Archdiocese of Southern California, many parishes are working on new and innovative ways, to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
The Stole & Chalice Program, was initially brought forth from the Vocations Office of Los Angeles, under the direction of Monsignor Jim Forsen.
This program provides the opportunity for a parish family to receive a liturgical stole, chalice and prayer folder, during the Mass, to present to a family to have in their home for one to two weeks.
The family would then display the stole and chalice and as a family unit pray together for priests, seminarians and new vocations to the priesthood.
The prayer binder provided would contain prayers and materials to enhance their week-long commitment.
The primary objective, is directed towards promoting needed vocations to the priesthood and to inspire homegrown vocations within the family.
It also serves to bring attention to the need of prayer for vocations and quiet reflection on those going through the formation process for the priesthood.
Southern California parish that participates
in the Stole & Chalice Program
determines how extensive the program will be.
A number of parishes have the program once a week, which requires a fair amount of coordination to obtain family volunteers, schedule advanced mass participation, etc.
Typically, just one family per week receives the stole, chalice and prayer binder, from the priest during
The priest may give a brief talk on vocations, have a special vocations
prayer and/or provide a family blessing. Mass.
After the completed time with the program, the family then returns the items to the parish office one week later so the Vocations Director or Promoter will have them available for the next family.
It is entirely up to the Vocations Director, or promoter, to coordinate with the family and the celebrating priest for that week so everything runs smoothly.
There are many benefits and graces for a family trying to foster a vocation by participating in the Stole & Chalice Program.
With my work with this program as a promoter, it was noted that a participating family was fostering more than one vocation. Their son, an Altar Server, was presented with the Chalice. That family now has a son, who is clearly discerning a vocation to the priesthood as a result of the Stole & Chalice Program as well as another child.
Many families have found the program inspiring and beneficial in their ministry as parents to promote a homegrown vocation, as well as a wonderful way to bring them together in prayer.
I have noted many families who have found it to be a positive, enriching program.
I am a believer that all holy vocations start with the prayer of the family or parish community.
The Stole & Chalice Program is an excellent way to promote homegrown vocations. It offers quality family time for prayers, a Rosary, viewing a vocations DVD, Vocation prayer cards, list of Sacred Websites and much more. Some families create their individual sacramental moments such as when they write their personal prayer, place it in the chalice, and then pray over it together as a family.
One mother, during one summer, participated for three weeks and had the stole in plain sight. That family is now fostering two vocations to the priesthood.
The power and grace of having a sacramental stole and chalice displayed in the family home is amazing and inspiring for teenagers.
More important, families are brought together in quality prayer for prayer and reflection.
The education and holy experience of families participating in the Stole & Chalice Program continues to be a great benefit in fostering homegrown vocations throughout many
Southern California parishes.
This simple program reminds families that “Yes!" “We need more vocations to the priesthood," “We need prayers for our priests," “We need prayer for our seminarians.” “We need young women to consider religious life." It is a program that any parish in
can incorporate into their vocations promotion program. America
It simply takes a good coordinator the schedule and provide the stole, chalice and detailed prayer binder with materials.
It is a perfect program for the Season of Advent or Lent. Please consider it within your parish community.
All vocations start with pray.
- Leslie Lenko