By Maryalvin Gonzales
“The purpose of the Chalice Program is to encourage families to pray and promote vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. The consecrated Chalice is a tangible reminder of this special intention for the Church.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Under the direction of Bishop Thomas J. Olmstead, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, the “Chalice Apostolate”, also known as the “Vocation Chalice”, has been adopted throughout the Diocese of Phoenix. It was first introduced to St. Elizabeth Seton Parish when Father Frank Bartel was Pastor in 2008. Rachel Ruby, a long-time parishioner accepted the responsibility of passing the chalice to members of the parish on a bi-weekly to monthly time frame. “I had the chalice in my home and loved it,” said Ruby. “Nineteen years later and I still have this ministry going,” she said. Those that have taken the chalice have experienced what a blessing it is to have it in their homes. Some would even like to keep it forever. The Chalice represents the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord, that is offered at every Mass and is the nucleus core of our faith.
The person or family who accepts the chalice and brings it to their home is presented with the chalice at the end of the Mass they attend on Sunday. According to Ruby, “The person or family that receives the Chalice is like being commissioned to do a very important job”. Each day during prayer time (morning, bedtime or at meals), the family prays for an increase and perseverance of vocations. Prayer changes hearts. Maybe it’s even our own heart that is changed when we pray for this important ministry”.
Prayers are provided with the Chalice and personal prayers may be added for the intentions of Our Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and all religious men and women. And especially for vocations to the Priesthood and religious life. The Diocesan Prayer for Priests could also be prayed each day along with a decade of the rosary.
They can also send a note of support to a Seminarian, Priest or Sister. When their time with the Chalice is complete, they return it to the church, ready for the next person to receive it.
We are hopeful that by our efforts to bring the Chalice Ministry to the forefront, we will encourage many more individuals and families to get involved in participating in praying for more vocations.
Christ reminds us, “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you would go and bear fruit, and that fruit would remain “. We continue to pray especially for our very own seminarian, Andy Geerling, who is working towards ordination.
If you have any questions or feel a special calling to pray for vocations through this ministry, you are invited to call, Rachel Ruby @ 623-972-1051. Her contact information is also listed in the parish bulletin.